Isabella Or The Pot Of Basil

Today I reread and scanned

Beside the title page I have shown the front board.

Each of the first 62 stanzas is part of a pair in a decorated border. The 63rd stands alone on the final page. I have chosen not to reproduce the intermediate verses, but to include each of the double spreads

illustrating selected lines.

There are numerous analyses and observations on this classic romance from 1820, so I won’t attempt any.

MacDougall’s 1898 illustrations are worthy examples of the golden age of illustration, produced on good cartridge quality hand made paper originally uncut.

Mellow Fruitfulness


As we were both up before dawn this morning we took a trip to the coast to catch sight of the dawn over the Isle of Wight. There was nothing to see. It was raining and the sky was covered in grey cloud.

John Keats famously described autumn as “a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. We haven’t had any mists yet in this delayed waning of the year. So I guess we must be patient.

Many flowers, such as




and nasturtiums continue to bloom.

There is, however, a certain amount of “mellow fruitfulness” in the form of

Crab apples

crab apples,

Rosa glauca hips

rosa glauca hips,


just a few apples on a tree that was laden last year,

nicotiana sylvestris seed pods

and the seed clusters of six foot tall nicotiana sylvestris,

nicotiana sylvestris seeds

just one pod of which produced this cappuccino  chocolate cloud of minute seeds on the poppy tray.

I cannot remember how to calibrate my scanner to the laptop, so the last two photographs I e-mailed to Emily were produced by


photographing the prints and uploading them.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spiky pasta beef arrabiata and runner beans with which I drank more of the malbec.