Gallery – The Children’s Picture Book of Wild Plants

One of Clarence’s best illustrated albums, all of them bound in vellum (leather of a young deer, a ‘kid’) and provided empty by his niece Margaret Berry, is the The Children’s Picture Book of Wild Plants of 1908. Clarence introduces it with the words “This is a Children’s Picture-Book; the Babes who cannot read may look upon the right-hand Pages; while on the left who can will find much Lore and Learning of a Kind to suit maturer ages”. Indeed, the botanical descriptions and the plants names in Latin are absolutely not what most children would read. The flower images are carefully designed and colour coordinated. The Children’s Picture Book of Wild Plants features four plants in water-colour on the right, often with a frame of style and colours derived from the flower shown, and on the left a description of each plant. Clarence, in this and many of the albums, delighted in taking the colours and details of flowers as motifs for the frame and for decorative capital letters. The album is in the Bicknell Family Collection, curated by Susie and Marcus Bicknell.