Agnes Miller Parker

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton for me to lunch with Norman at Tas, in The Cut, EC1.


In the rather neglected station garden a Leycesteria is blooming rather early. Note the dumped supermarket trolley visible beyond the stems.

The Cut SE1

From Waterloo Station I approached The Cut, as congested as ever, via Lower Marsh

Food stall 2

with its cosmopolitan food stalls preparing for the lunchtime custom.

Food stall 1

I wasn’t the only photographer focussing on food.

Tas Special meal

Norman and I had our usual enjoyable discussion over the Anatolian cuisine. We both chose the Tas Special lamb meal, which was very tender and tasty. Before that we had each chosen soups. Mine was fish with coriander and ginger. For dessert we each enjoyed baklava, and shared a bottle of the house red. We finished with coffee before I made my way back to Waterloo for my return home. Further sustenance was not required this evening.

Two days ago, I featured the dust jacket of Eiluned Lewis’s ‘Honey Pots and Brandy Bottles’. This was to display the work of Agnes Miller Parker. I had bought this 1954 publication some forty years ago, essentially for the illustrations. Perhaps, I thought, it was time I got around to reading it. I finished it on the train today.

The book is a collection of essays and poems gathered to represent the four seasons of the year. Published by Country Life the writing is pleasant, if, for this reader, unexciting.

What lifts the publication well beyond the ordinary are the wood engravings of a woman I regard as one of the best illustrators of her day.


The clarity, perspective, and depth of field evident in these masterpieces would be impressive if they were simply pen and ink drawings. When one considers the technical skill required to bring light and life to images worked into blocks of wood, admiration can only be enhanced.


  1. As someone who like to draw and knows some secrets about (only a few), I think Mrs Parker would be also today among the best illustrators. These are really masterpieces, Derrick. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I do love your tours through parts of London. The engravings are really lovely and they have a particular style that reminds me of John Nash. Are they the same school or time period? I suppose I could look this up myself, but in the moment am asking.

  3. Derrick,
    Thank you for introducing me to Agnes Miller Parker. I’ve spent the last 20 minutes looking at her art and I am just in awe. How one would get such fluidity using wood blocks is beyond the beyond!

  4. “Note the dumped supermarket trolley visible beyond the stems.” People who do this are annoying and selfish and lazy imo. And…. I didn’t know you could get french fries and onion rings where you live. I was just told the french fries are called chips. I guess I figured different country, different food. And french fries and onion rings seem so unhealthy, that I figured only Americans eat them 🙂

  5. My favorite illustration were the Summer and Autumn since each has a pretty bird, Derrick. I draw with pen and ink. Not as exquisite, but I respect the quality of these detailed drawings which were made into wood cut engravings.
    Thank you for sharing your lamb meal, too. 🙂

  6. Thanks for introducing her work! So glorious. Really potent graphically, and yet sweet and engaging at the same time. Remarkable stuff! As was the food, apparently, on this occasion!

Leave a Reply