It was a visit last weekend from our friend Bill that got me interested again in the work of author/illustrator Marguerite de Angeli. In our conversations about children's books, her name came up.
Did I know her work?
I ran down to my studio to find Henner's Lydia, Elin's Amerika, Bright April and the other few prized volumes of her books that I own.
Did I have Thee, Hannah?
No. But after Bill told me it was based on his great grandmother who was de Angeli's friend, I quickly ordered a copy. Yes, it is still in print. And it arrived the other day. This morning, a cold and bright Friday, I sat in my studio and read it.
There's a quiet peacefulness to this book which takes place in Philadelphia before the Civil War. Illustrated in watercolor and fine pencil drawings, de Angeli tell a genuine story of a young Quaker girl's curiosity, desires and ultimately, her courage. She also gives us a view into the times-- including the Underground Railroad. I especially adore how each chapter starts with the street calls--oyster man, pepper pot lady, and more.
A few of Marguerite de Angeli's books remain in print. Look for others at your local libraries and second hand book vendors.
Nine o'clock, and all's well!
Nine o'clock of a rainy night!