Thursday, May 08, 2008
Jenny Uglow, Winner of 2007 National Award for Arts Writing, to Give Reading May 19
Monday, May 19 at 7:00 pm
Public reading by Jenny Uglow, author of Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick, winner of the National Award for Arts Writing, one of the largest monetary prizes in the US for a single book, given in recognition of excellence in writing about the arts for a broad audience, sponsored annually by the Arts Club of Washington.
The Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 331-7282, ext. 15. Foggy Bottom or Farragut North Metro stop.
For more information: 202-331-7282 x 15, firstname.lastname@example.org
Made possible in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington.
Nature's Engraver recounts the life and achievements of the man who produced, in early 19th century Britain, the first Field Guide to birds for ordinary people, illustrated with woodcuts of remarkable accuracy and beauty. These woodcuts, in turn, influenced book illustration for all time. Living and working at a time of rapid social change and industrialization, Bewick was a fascinating man: working class, liberal (even radical in some of his politics), and amazingly talented. His evocations of birds helped to widen appreciation for the natural world, and the preservation of land, among people of all classes.
The judges wrote, “Nature’s Engraver is engaging, subtle and instructive. Uglow’s plain, richly elegant sentences present a career that, fascinating in itself, becomes a way of thinking about all art: the tools, the materials, the personality and the surroundings, all interacting with the artist’s craving to make a new reality. Uglow’s insightful treatments of material like the life of apprentices, the nature of early children’s books, the fashion for 'peasant poets' make this vivid biography a work of cultural history as well.”
Jenny Uglow is an editor at Chatto & Windus and lives in Canterbury, England. Her book The Lunar Men: The Friends who Made the Future 1730–1810 won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography in 2002 and the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for history from International PEN in 2003. Her biographies Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories and Hogarth: A Life and a World were both finalists for the Whitbread Prize for biography. She comes to the Arts Club having just been presented with the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England on May 16.