Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Which Bookmark for Emma?

Do you match your bookmark to your book? Lesa has written before about bookmarks, in particular, lagniappes, but she didn't discuss the process of choosing a bookmark to match the text.

I collect few things, but bookmarks are one of my weaknesses. Being adverse to clutter, I am drawn to bookmarks. They are small and easily corralled. They can be souvenirs of an art exhibit or travels. Some of my most treasured bookmarks were purchased in Paris with Tracy, Leslie and my beautiful mother. Others were made by my girls.

So from this collection I went to choose a suitable companion for Emma.

These two are just wonderful. I got them at the American Impressionism and Realism exhibit at the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art. They are both from paintings by John Singer Sargent, and are absolutely commanding in person. They were huge and moving. Simply spectacular.

The subjects are American, and Colonials are perhaps not exalted enough to keep company with Miss Woodhouse. However, they are redeemed by their beauty and station in life. These are qualities esteemed by our protagonist, and she might deign to entertain them.

I think Mrs. Hugh Hammersley 1892 is the most elegant person I have ever laid eyes on. She just oozes confidence and elegance.

But the best, in my opinion, to grace the pages of Austen's work is Mr. and Mrs. IN Phelps Stokes 1897. They are happily married, and Mrs Stokes exudes health, just as Mrs. Weston describes Emma to Mr. Keightly. I thought Mrs. Stokes looked almost smug, as if she had everything right where she wanted it. Emma often thinks she has everything sorted.

Which bookmark are you using at the moment?


  1. +JMJ+

    I love bookmarks, too! When I was teaching full-time, I wanted to tell my students that if they felt they had to get me something for Christmas, it should be bookmarks. What bibliophile doesn't appreciate flat swag? =P

    But I don't really coordinate my books and my bookmarks. What I do coordinate are . . . my books and my clothes! =D Sometimes it's completely unconscious: several hours after leaving home, I will set my book down on my lap and suddenly notice how perfectly it goes with my outfit!

    PS--I love Mrs. Hugh Hammersley's dress! It's so classically stylish! Only a little tweaking, and some big celebrity could wear it to the Oscars next year.

  2. Sargent is sublime. I still have those book marks we so greedily snapped up that day at the Louvre. I keep them in a clear plastic sleeve and take them out occasionally just to run my fingers over them. I, like you, can't bring myself to risk them, but I think that's a little bit of a shame.

  3. I adore bookmarks but most of mine have been gifts. Corraling them is difficult for me and they fall out of my books so I usually resist the temptation to buy (and just use any old handy scrap to do the job)-- but you've inspired me-- just gotta find a cool corral.

    Those are both beautiful choices-- The couple theme is apropros but I must go with that flamboyantly glamorous and elegant scarlet gown. Wish I owned it and had a place to wear it!

    Love this post, DeLynne. You know our psychic link-- I've been mentally developing a related idea for a recurrent feature-- still in the thinking stage and I'm stuck on the title but I bet you and Tracy will dig it so we will brainstorm soon.

  4. E: that is funny-- You should take photos for your blog!

  5. ...and book plates. I love those. DeLynne do you remember Musser used to have a couple boxes that she never used either? There's a fantasy. A library filled with books, each one with a beautiful plate inside the cover. Or is that defacing a book? I would probably still do it, but I need to know whether to feel bad about it or not.

  6. I had book plates! My mother bought them for me when I was little. I saved those gold embossed papers for my most prized books. I think I still have some...

  7. I had book plates! My mother bought them for me when I was little. I saved those gold embossed papers for my most prized books. I think I still have some...

  8. What lucky girls we have been. Much gifted. and after having reread that and laughed at myself I'm really hoping this "voice" will stop when I finish emma

  9. I love bookmarks, too, but hadn't thought of looking for them when I travel. Maybe it's because I don't do that much traveling. My current bookmark says "practice random acts of reading".

    I received a book label embosser as a gift and use it on the special books I intend on keeping.


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