Monday, March 15, 2021

Flora Delanica #6: Purple Raspberry

Flora Delanica #6  Purple Flowering Raspberry by Becky Brown.

Flora Delanica #6  Purple Flowering Raspberry (Rubrus Odoratus)
A flowering berry can remind us of the late bloom in Mary's happiness after she
married Patrick Delany.

Mary Pendarves and close friend Anne Donnellen spent 18 months in Ireland in the early 1730's where Mary was welcomed into the intellectual circle surrounding Jonathan Swift, satirist, political writer and Dean in Dublin's Anglican Church, a man she described as an "odd companion [who] talks a great deal and does not require many answers." 

Jonathan Swift 1667 - 1745

But as Mary's biographer Ruth Hayden notes: Swift was impressed with her answers, intrigued by a woman with "a perceptive and original mind."

Swift is best remembered for writing the enduring Gulliver's Travels,
here an image in a thread advertisement.

Patrick Delany (1686 - 1768)

Swift's friends included Dr. Patrick Delany who with his new wife Margaret Tennison hosted a Dublin salon where the talk was sparkling and sophisticated. Swift described Dr. Delany as a "man of the easyest and best conversation." Poet and woman-about-town Laetitia Pilkington praised him in her memoir:
"Of all the gentleman I ever knew, this I must say, that Dr. Delany excels in one point particularly; which is, in giving an elegant entertainment, with ease, cheerfulness, and a hospitality, which makes the company happy." 


Purple Raspberry in wool by Nan Phillips

After Mary returned to England in 1733 she kept in touch with Swift and several Irish friends. About ten years after her visit Patrick Delany, now a widower, surprised Mary with a letter proposing marriage. She'd had many proposals over the years, turning down fortunes, rank and several fools in favor of her independent life, but pleasant memories of Dr. Delany inclined her to accept. They married when she was 43 and he was 58. She moved to Ireland to become a Dean's wife and mistress of his Dublin house Delville.

Delville on Glasnevin Hill from an engraving by Mary's friend Letitia Bushe,
 home to the Delanys' 25-year union. 

Mary loved Ireland with its its natural world and simplicity compared to London. Aware of economic problems she encouraged local manufacture, particularly in textiles, and organized charity concerts by her London friend George Frideric Handel (1685 -1759) who introduced his Messiah in Dublin on April 13, 1742.

Mary's drawing of their fashionable naturalistic garden,
 now part of the National Botanic Gardens.
 BonSecours Hospital is on the site of the house.
"I have a most extensive & beautiful prospect of the harbour & town of Dublin, and a range of mountains in various shapes."
She passed her days busy as usual doing needlework, embroidering a marvelous court dress with flowers, making a quilt and a knotted coverlet, drawing, painting, carving and gilding, gathering natural specimens for her collections and snipping paper for silhouettes and teaching cards for her niece who spent a good deal of time with her.

Detail of a knotted linen bedcover in the collection
of the Ulster Museum. More about Mary's needlework
next month.

Mary recorded a day when she worked on her bedquilt for four hours while housemates Letty Bushe painted and Mrs Greene sewed children's clothes.

Letitia Bushe (about  1705-1757) from a self portrait

Mrs Delany's largest projects were her stucco shell works.

She embellished the chapel and a bed room at Delville with mosaic friezes like the restored version at the Bath House in Warwickshire we saw last month.

Their Temple at Delville, 200 years later,
 destroyed with the house in 1951 when a hospital was built on the site.

D.D. (as she called him) from a sketch by Mary
on an envelope

Dean Delany a most exemplary husband, left Mary a widow again in 1768, dying at 83 years old. Mary, just about 70, returned to England with her maid Mrs. Smyth, accepting hospitality from her well-placed family and friends, particularly her rich if cranky bachelor brother and Margaret Duchess of Portland. Mary bought a London house, which she could afford to maintain with a staff of servants, and enjoyed her life in a circle of widows.

For a large picture of this paper mosaick at the British Museum click here and scroll down:

The Block
Purple Raspberry 

You don't have to do ALL Mary's raspberry blooms---or all those stems.

Applique on the diagonal to an square cut 10-1/2" or on the vertical center of a rectangle cut 9-1/2" x 12-1/2".

One Way to Print the Pattern:

Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". Note the inch square block for reference.
Adjust the printed page size if necessary.

A better idea of shading and lines in the negative.

Ilyse Moore's #6

A Little More Mary Delany

Passion Flower (Passiflora Laurifolia)
You'd be needing an interesting stripe....

Further Reading, Listening & Viewing

Listen to a little Messiah while stitching Mary's Dublin block. Every year Dubliners sing it in the streets on April 13th.

Here's a minute and a half of Messiah history---but it doesn't mention Mary---an omission.

My blocks get more eccentric every month.

No comments:

Post a Comment