Tanglewood Tales – Illustrated by Virginia Frances Sterrett
Tanglewood Tales is a book written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864), and forms the sequel to A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. It is a masterful re-writing of well-known Greek myths, all presented in one volume, for a younger audience. Hawthorne originally penned the work, after a visit from his young friend Eustace Bright, who requested a sequel to the Wonder Book. It contains the myths of ‘The Minotaur’, ‘The Pygmies’, ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’ ‘Circe’s Palace’, ‘The Pomegranate Seeds’ and ‘The Golden Fleece’.
These classic stories in Tanglewood Tales are accompanied by the truly beautiful illustrations of Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900 – 1931). Presented alongside the text, her illustrations further refine and elucidate Hawthorne’s masterful storytelling. Sterrett was an American artist and illustrator – one of the most talented, though also most tragic, of the ‘Golden Age’ illustrators. Sterrett’s illustrations are delicate yet powerful, inspired by the tradition of Art Nouveaux with its light washes of colour and sinuous black lines. She only completed three works in her lifetime, due to her early death from tuberculosis at the age of thirty-one. These include Old French Fairy Tales (1920), Tanglewood Tales (1921) and Arabian Nights (1928).