I’ve been fighting that yuck flu that has been galloping around lately. I haven’t actually gotten it, but have felt worn, weak and a bit achy. This morning I took a gap of time to rest—hoping to rid myself of it for good—and decided to look up one of my favorite children’s authors of ALL time: Elizabeth Enright. She has that magical ability of making the daily doings of everyday story-like and enchanting; where you want to read about her characters lives again and again. She wrote Thimble Summer, Gone Away Lake, the Melendy Family books and more. The exciting thing I found today was that she wrote a book I had never found before! The Sea is All Around. Of course the only available copy is $150 dollars, so I will just have to hope they re-issue it someday. But still, it was thrilling to know there is another gem of an Elizabeth Enright book out there to eventually read.
The next amazing thing I found was that her mother, Maginel Wright Enright, was an illustrator and Capezio ballet shoe designer. And for me, not just any illustrator, she has deeply charmed me since I was a child. In fact, one of the artists that subconsciously has influenced my own artwork greatly. I never knew who it was, I just knew the images in the back of my mind. Now I know what they are and who drew them. It was a style—she wasn’t the only one—that was typical of victorian children’s art. Other illustrators I feel need to be mentioned are Blanche Fisher Wright and Margaret Evans Price.
It all starts to add up. I have another favorite author/illustrator that I found when my kids were little named Elsa Beskow. Also Sibylle Von Olfers. Both were from that same era and made such an impression on me. You know when you find that writing that says it for you, or that painter that paints it how you see? These ladies created a lovely world, one I’d love to crawl right into and perhaps not even ever leave.
The following is some of what I found of Maginel Wright Enright’s artwork:
Anyway, cheers and hope everyone is having a lovely week!
PS. I thought I should also note that Maginel Wright Enright is also Frank Lloyd Wright’s sister. I ordered myself her biography and am curious if it will be any good.