The Illuminated Book of Days

Kate Greenaway was an English illustrator at the end of the nineteenth century. I have adored her work for almost a decade since I first came across it. Recently I have had the fortune to find one of the well-known books that her illustrations were used in, namely The Illuminated Book of Days. The book also shows the beautiful artworks of Eugene Grasset, a Swiss artist also from around the same time. Introducing each month, Grasset’s posters adorns the page, creating a wonderful little entrance into the month.

I was so happy to find this treasure! Since then, I have had the pleasure of sharing the book with my friends. So far, no one is as delighted as I am, but people rarely are. I often take the book with me when I go out, because I just love the pictures and I love the fun little facts on each day.

The Illuminated Book of Days is similar to an almanac in style. Every day has a fact on something interesting that happened on that day in a particular year, or it shares an idea, a poem excerpt or even a recipe. Each page contains the loveliest drawings that lifts up my spirit, but then again, I am a Kate Greenaway admirer.

The facts are fun to read. Some if them have made me laugh out loud. The funniest things in this book are the odd historical occurrences that took place in the lives of the wealthy, prominent figures in society at particular times.

You’ll see that I have included some excerpts from the book for you to look at. I’d include more, but I don’t feel like it. Maybe an another time.

I just love books like this one-a little odd, but very pleasant. I have a couple more books that are quite old and contain such funny things that really make me happy that I live in this day and age.

I would strongly recommend that you go and Google any of the following books and reading some of its old pieces of advice, facts and daily manner. It’s very funny.

Mrs Beeton’s Family Cookery circa 1936

Don’t for Husbands 1913

“It was a medieval custom for friends to accompany the bridal pair when they bathed on their wedding night. A Regensburg ordinance of 1320 proclaimed the no more than 24 males and 8 females were permitted to attend on such occasions.”