Lady Filmy Fern painting, 1980
Edward Bawden RA (1903 - 1989)
RA Collection: Art
One of 19 illustrations (plus dust-jacket) made by Bawden for Thomas Hennell's Lady Filmy Fern (written 1930s, published 1980). The book was written by Hennell, as a compilation of plots which he, Bawden and other friends invented during evenings together, but it was put aside after a publisher rejected it. Bawden had finished his pen and ink and gouache designs by 1940, and hid them in his garden during World War II. The book, with Bawden's illustrations, were only published many years later.
Malcolm Yorke summarises the plot: 'The glamorous Lady Filmy Fern has retired from Society and its pressures to live under a bell-jar at the bottom of a cliff, her only neighbour being a deferential carpenter, Mr Virgin Cork. However, their privacy is disturbed by an intrusive paparazzo called the Welsh Polypod, a giant spider with a camera [seen here]. They flee in a floating window box pursued b the villainous spider as far as India and beyond, but after various alarms it ends satisfactorily for all three characters.'
This first illustration shows Lady Filmy Fern in retirement at Sandy Cove, painting, beside the bell-glass which served her for a house.
195 mm x 255 mm
Lady Filmy Fern, or, the voyage of the window box / by Thomas Hennell ; illustrated by Edward Bawden. - London: 1980
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