Monday, April 20, 2020

Book Browsing: Our Hearts Are In England

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

There are no faster or firmer friendships
than those formed between people
who love the same books.
Clarence Darrow for the Defense

Individuals across social media are doing all sorts of neat things these days to help people cope during the pandemic: reading poetry aloud; singing and playing music; creating amusing videos; even posting on their blogs more often. Sharing excerpts from my own book collection is my small online contribution to help create community in isolation. Should you arrive at this series mid-stream, you can find earlier posts HERE or click on the Tab above.

If you came over to my house—I really wish you could—and I was busy in the kitchen preparing a tray of refreshments for us, would you use that quiet moment to cast your eye over the bookshelves you see in the room? I know I would be sneaking a peek if I was at your house. There's a certain little thrill to spot a familiar title or author....ah, you like that one too! And, if I saw a book I haven't read that looks interesting, I would make a mental note to ask you about it.

Really, that's what these book posts have been about these last couple of weeks. Since you can't come to my house in person, especially now we're in isolation, I've taken to browsing a few from my book collection....all with you in mind.

I'm so excited about today's selection. This lovely coffee table book was given to me as a birthday present from my sweet husband. Ever since I saw the editors of Victoria magazine talking about it, I knew I wanted a copy of Our Hearts Are in England. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and Rick let me open the parcel right away (I was so glad he didn't spirit it away until my actual birthday, he knew I couldn't wait).

Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

This really is a gorgeous book that's filled with 'romantic charm', prose and stunning photography. "This exquisitely bound 232-page hardcover book is one to savor as we voyage together in search of England’s very essence."

I'm so pleased the editors of Victoria created the ability for readers to preview pages of the book. You can find the link on their website HERE. Do go and see it. If you love England, and if you have loved the Victoria magazine, you'll be smitten, I guarantee.

So, let me put the tea on . . .

April 20th

Our Hearts are in England

Victoria Magazine, Hoffman Media

Jordan Marxer, Editor

Excerpt from the chapter 'An English Woman's Retreat'. . . p 14. You'll see a page from this chapter in the preview, a beautiful sitting room in blue that I just love.
" Sheep graze on the hillside as clouds drift overhead, giving a gentle cadence to the afternoon at the farmhouse and studio of Louise Townsend. Open to welcome breezes, windows frame vistas of Devon, an area of southwest England known for its pastoral beauty and temperate climate. The property's idyllic setting, which includes verdant fields, orchards, and herbaceous borders abloom with roses, delphinium, and lupines, serves as the muse for her eponymous line of screen-printed fabrics, pillows, and totes.
Home and career intertwine for this textile designer. The daughter of a naval officer, Louise grew up in various English ports. Despite the transient nature of military life, she can trace the weaving of two important threads, family and self-expression, as far back as she can remember.
Several of her ancestors were artists, but it was Louise's maternal grandmother who most profoundly influenced her development. "Moving house so much," she says, "it was Granny's house I was most inspired by." The young girl hoped one day to settle somewhere permanently, following in the beloved matriarch's footsteps by cultivating gracious interiors while exploring the pleasures of needlework and gardening.
. . .When (Louise) was ten, an inspirational teacher taught Louise to read dressmaking patterns, and she began stitching doll clothes by hand. At the next post, weekends were spent learning to use a sewing machine. And in boarding school, she mastered the intricacies of smocking, along with other domestic arts.  . . . " 

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Don't forget to check out the preview for a proper glimpse of this lovely book.

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Wishing you a beautiful week ahead.
Keep well and safe. Whispering prayers for those who
are experiencing firsthand the trauma of this horrid Covid-19.

See you Wednesday.


Heart Hugs,

PS. I've been having issues the last couple of days with some of my photos disappearing from my blog posts. Haven't isolated the problem, don't know if it's a Blogger issue or something at my end. If you find any posts where photos are missing (there's a funny looking blank box that shows up), would you mind letting me know (either in a comment here or emailing me—link's in the sidebar). Thanks! Hope to sort that quickly. 


  1. A lovely book, a lovely birthday gift, and a splendid addition to your bookshelf!

  2. You have always been a blessing to me and I thank God for your friendship.

  3. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. It looks so charming. The passage you shared reminds me of lovely days at home. It is calming and peaceful. Blessings to you!

  4. What a beautiful book....very English!
    Maybe your photos have self isolated themselves?

  5. Such a beautiful gift from your husband. It looks like the perfect book for sitting down with accompanied by a cup of tea and a sweet treat!

  6. That was and is a lovely gift from your Beloved. I did very much enjoy the preview and I also liked that blue room. My favorite picture was of the limestone cottage in the Cotswalds~utterly dreamy...

  7. Brenda, what a treasured gift. One you will forever enjoy.

    I had that exact problem on my blog last summer. The talented young man who manages my website told me to always upload my photos and not copy and paste them. Since I have done that, I haven't had any problems. Best of luck with it, these things can make one a bit crazy.

    Have a lovely week, my friend and stay well.

  8. Oh Brenda, that sounds like a wonderful book. Yes, I DO love Victoria magazine. I've never been able to go to England and the probability of going in person is probably not very high. So, the trip would be done vicariously through this lovely book! Thank you. And thank you for the beautiful series. Stay safe and healthy. Susan

  9. It sounds like a wonderful read. My daughter and I are reading the same book whose title escapes me right now. It’s been nice to be able to chat with her about text.

  10. That's a wonderful gift!!! I love the evocative excerpt!!!
    I would definitely be eyeing up your bookcase if I came to your house- I love seeing people's book choices! (I also like seeing gardens!).


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo