Period Piece

Period Piece

Period Piece Memories of a turn of the century childhood by the granddaughter of Charles Darwin

  • Title: Period Piece
  • Author: Gwen Raverat
  • ISBN: 9780472064755
  • Page: 123
  • Format: Paperback
  • Memories of a turn of the century childhood by the granddaughter of Charles Darwin

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      Posted by:Gwen Raverat
      Published :2019-04-10T00:05:37+00:00

    966 Comment

    My grandmother's book was a classic almost on the day she wrote it in 1952, just 4 years before she died. Its circular shape is unusual for a memoir - she bundles together her memories under subjects (e.g. Uncles, i.e. the sons of Charles Darwin) - and adds considerably to its charm. Despite this lack of narrative beginning, middle and end, the quality and wit of her writing carries you through to the end in a trice, helped considerably by her telling pen and ink drawings. No wonder the book is [...]

    This was the third time I’ve read this fabulous book, and it gets better and better with each reading.Gwen Raverat was Charles Darwin’s granddaughter, living an idyllic and rather crazy Victorian childhood in the bliss that is Cambridge, with a lot of her family around her.She was an out and out tomboy, resenting all trappings of feminity – the clothes, the dancing classes, the chaperoning duties - and relishing instead all the wonderful opportunities for adventure provided by enthusiastic [...]

    I don’t read as much non-fiction as I sometimes think I should – and I’m certainly not one to force the issue, but Period Piece represents the kind of non-fiction book I like best. Childhood memoirs of the Victorian and Edwardian era are a lovely sub-genre that I have found to be endlessly readable. This lovely book borrowed from my friend Liz comes with lots of lovely illustrations by the author herself.Gwen Raverat was a wood engraver, the granddaughter of Charles Darwin, who died three [...]

    Period Piece offers a uniquely intimate glimpse into Cambridge life and society at the end of the 19th century. With Mrs. Raverat being Charles Darwin's granddaughter, the Darwin shadow rests over the entire book, but remains incorporeal because Darwin died before the author was even born. Raverat made the excellent decision to organize her book topically rather than chronologically; this is made possible by her family's geographical immobility in the environs of Cambridge (her education as a te [...]

    What a wonderful, charming, witty, beautiful memoir of growing up in a large, loving eccentric family ( the Darwin's) in England before WW1. Superbly written, it made me nostalgic for a childhood filled with the freedom to run free and use your imagination to amuse yourself. This memoir does not read in chronological order, but is instead divided into subjects, such as Uncles, Aunts, Clothing, Religion, Amusements, etc. I gave this book 4 stars because it was a joy to read.

    I picked up this book during a visit to Cambridge last year. You know how when you visit a bookshop in a new city, it always tends to have a section of 'local' works? Well, this was on that same said table and its' lavender cover (unlike the image shown) caught my eye. I shelved it when I got back home and didn't think much about it since. But then about a week ago, while shelving another book nearby, this one's binding caught my eye. I'd been on a streak of books on women, either written by the [...]

    This has been my Year of the Memoir - I don't know how many I've read, but this one must be the best yet. Gwen Raverat is witty and feisty, and her pen and ink illustrations are the icing on the cake. I liked that she organized her memoir by topic rather than keeping to chronology, too. Her wry description of Victorian society and it's strange standards is quite pointed and funny. I absolutely loved the chapter "Sport" in which she tells of all the games she and her siblings and cousins would ge [...]

    This book was written by Charles Darwin's granddaughter, Gwen Raverat, in 1952, and was about her life growing up. It was refreshing in the sense that, even though set in the Victorian era, there was a distinct lack of religious mores unusual for the time. There were strong behavioral codes, some of them admirable, such as a tremendous emphasis on humility.What I didn't know until I had finished the book is that Raverat was a well-known and respected artist. I was happy to learn that she led a f [...]

    I was given this book as a gift in 1983 and cannot understand why it has taken me this long to read it. It is the most charming and lovely read covering the childhood of Gwen Raverat from her birth in 1885 to the turn of the century.Gwen is the grand-daughter of Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgwood. Her writing is a great piece of social history of those times. Each chapter covers a topic such as 'Ladies', 'Propriety', 'Clothes', 'Sport', Society'. The book is beautifully, and often humourously, ill [...]

    Period Piece is a charming exercise in nostalgia, though I quickly found I was only up for small doses of Childhood Memories in any one sitting so it took me a rather long time to finish it. Indeed, it never ceases to amaze me how well some people remember their childhoods. Gwen Raverat's was particularly memorable (and happy), surrounded and supported by a vast assemblage of eccentric aunts, uncles, and cousins. Having spent a year in Cambridge back in the 80's, though, my favorite portions of [...]

    I adored this memoir.For years now, I've been visiting Cambridge and walking by the blue plaque that says "Gwen Raverat lived here." It was truly a delight to read this reminiscence of her Cambridge childhood, of late Victorian society, and of the collection of eccentrics that were her Darwin family.She was a truly original person and her humorous, distinctive voice makes this memoir something really special.

    An elegiac but funny memoir of Cambridge in the late Victorian period, written by Darwin’s granddaughter many years afterwards. The book sheds brief glimmers of light on famous figures (Vaughan Williams, E.M. Forster, Darwin himself), but mostly details the lifestyle and foibles of a very well-to-do and connected family of the time—and Victorian girlhood. Also a great read for specific tidbits on old Cambridge (who knew how new punting is!).

    I loved the drawings most of all, the sometimes pouty, strong-minded young Gwen, the tiger lurking in the bed canopy, and the longsuffering family dog.

    This is a great addition to everyone's essential 'smile on your face' bookshelf - a really enjoyable read.Gwen Raverat's memoir of growing up in Cambridge at the turn of 19/20th centuries is sharp ,witty and affectionate as she writes about significant people and places in her childhood. She also, incidentally, gives unromantic details of daily life in the not-so-good old days when she remembers that town sewage was discharged into the picturesque River Cam (there's quite a bit about smells in t [...]

    The writing is so deft and sure- I love this book, and I know I’ll read it again. It is so touching. I learned so much of the period too.

    This book came to my attention via Noel Perrin’s A Reader’s Delight, and I am thoroughly pleased that I followed his recommendation. I was, however, somewhat misled by that article. Gwen Raverat was a member of the famous Bloomsbury Group, but this book, though a memoir, is really about her childhood. She was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin, and the people in her family included her five famous uncles. She also lived in a famous complex of buildings in Cambridge, England; all of which are [...]

    I read this memoir slowly, dipping in and out of it over months, whenever I wanted to remind myself that there existed a world of croquet mallets, chaperoning courting couples, and corsets. A world that Gwen Raverat made out to be peopled by endearing yet slightly ridiculous characters, their quirks brought to the fore by her dry and almost, cruel wit. And oddly sanitized for our consumption?

    I enjoyed this book. I particularly liked how timeless the woes of being a parent and a child are. I loved all her feminist assertions and felt terribly glad to be a woman in modern times even tho there is still far to go.

    Period Piece, Gwen RaveratOne of the many books that’s sat around on my bookshelf for years, this is a good example of why it’s a good idea to read what I’ve already accumulated instead of trying to keep up with newer titles. Written in 1952 when the author was 62, it’s an absolutely delightful memoir of Raverat’s Victorian childhood spent as the privileged child of a distinguished family of Cambridge scholars. It was interesting to discover that she was the grand-daughter of Charles D [...]

    Charles Darwin's granddaughter, the artist Gwen Raverat, wrote a delightful memoir of her childhood in Cambridge and of her relatives in the 1890s. Her affectionate and humorous portraits (in both words and line drawings) made me laugh out loud more than once. Here is an excerpt: "When Aunt Etty was quite old, she suddenly announced that she had never heard a nightingale sing, and must do so at once. But as the nightingale's turn did not come on till quite late, she would get ready for bed first [...]

    I found this little gem in a second-hand bookshop and, on finishing it, wondered how in God's name I had lived forty-seven years in total ignorance of its existence. From time to time I worry that I'm not reading enough fiction but I can't help it, I absolutely love memoirs and auto/biographies. And this is pure gorgeous. It's a sort of a female 'Cider with Rosie' (one of my all-time favourites) but without the poverty or absent father. Talk about the quintessential upper crust English grand lif [...]

    One of my all-time favorites. Gwen Raverat, an independent thinker, artist, and the granddaughter of Charles Darwin, describes her childhood in turn-of-the-century Cambridge. The memoir is organized by topic rather than chronologically, with chapters on "Ladies" ("they did not do things themselves, they told other people what to do and how to do it"), "Religion" ("The first religious experience that I can remember is getting under the nursery table to pray that the dancing mistress might be dead [...]

    This is one of the most charming and delightful books I've ever read. There's nothing else quite like it. If you're even remotely Anglophilic, this is a must read -- the joyful details of everyday life in Cambridge at the turn of the 19th into 20th century and stories about Darwin family personalities are not to be missed. Quirky personality traits, games played, clothes worn, family habits and traditions, Raverat's clear and colorful writing is transportive. Everyone in this book, who would oth [...]

    This book was literally my best friend during some of the darkest times of my life. I have read it a zillion times in the last 15 years. There is nothing earth-shatteringly amazing about it. It's just so funny and sentimental and lovely, and Gwen's fabulous drawings make this a one-of-a-kind memoir. It has long been my dream to visit the places described in this book, especially her childhood home and Downe, where her grandfather, Charles Darwin, lived. Thank you, Gwen, for enriching my life and [...]

    Period Piece is an affectionate, and often hilarious, account of life in the large and exceedingly eccentric Darwin clan in turn-of-the-century Cambridge. Written in 1952, it paints a vivid portrait of the childhood and youth of one of Charles Darwin’s granddaughters, artist Gwen Raverat. The idiosyncrasies of the age (the turn of the last century), the social milieu (Cambridge University faculty and students), and her family make for fascinating reading. Raverat's illustrations are icing on t [...]

    My well-thumbed Faber edition of this book has been in my bookcases for over fifty years. It has a printed price of 9 shillings with a note to say that the 'cloth-bound' edition is available at 25 shillings! As someone born and brought up in Cambridge, I love this book about the childhood of Charles Darwin's granddaughter in the same town. Each chapter can be read on its own, although all part of the interwoven memoirs, and the humour is charming and infectious. My edition has many little pen sk [...]

    Gwen Raverat's 'Period Piece' is a unique and charming memoir of a Cambridge childhood in the late 1800's-early 1900's. As a grand-daughter of Charles Darwin she gives a beautiful insight into what was obviously an extremely talented family. Even disregarding this aspect, Raverat's account of the varying aspects of childhood in that time (from "Clothes" to "Ghosts and Horrors") are quite often laugh out loud amusing and always informative. I'm surprised that this modern classic isn't more well k [...]

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