Tumblr is a constant source of guilty (or not so guilty) treasures, and this case is no different. Whilst pursuing my dashboard, I came upon this beautifully illustrated edition of a Charlotte Brontë biography. At first, I thought it was probably one of those uber awesome conceptual book designs I see and wish they were real. And then I clicked through and felt the fever rise, because it's real, and I hunted it down!
In the past, biographies weren't especially interesting to me, as most I encountered seemed a listing of historical facts and figures, but, Charlotte Brontë has long been an inspiration of mine. This edition made it so easy to cave in and add it to my collection. Through the tumblr post I discovered that artist, Chloe Giordano, was commissioned by Penguin to hand embroider this glorious book jacket. Every leaf, branch, the rustic home, and title were hand stitched, photographed and embossed on to every British edition of Claire Harman's, Charlotte Brontë: A Life. Such eye for detail and only my fellow bibliophiles will understand when I say that I just love picking it up, and running my fingers across it's surface...seriously, it's amazing. Even the endpapers are glorious with pressed flowers, and excerpts of Charlotte's letters and drawings in her own hand.
I'm only a few pages into the prologue, and Claire Harmon definitely seems to capture Charlotte's life in real time. Instead of giving us a drawn out introduction, she throws us right into a day in Charlotte's life in Brussels, where she was as a teacher at the Pensionnat Heger school for girls, working through her heartbreak from falling into an unrequited love with the headmaster. This makes me excited to move forward because it can be easy to forget that the people who are now heralded as classical greats lived lives very similar to our own, with it's share of happiness and heartbreaks. Not to mention, I know I can learn a thing or two about pursuing my writing career with passion and persistence from Miss Brontë.