Happy Reading for 2015! A woman reading by candlelight

31st December 2014
To celebrate New Year, here is a lovely painting by Danish artist Peter Ilsted. It is entitled. 'Woman Reading by Candlelight.' It has great charm and simplicity, I think. It reminds us of a time when reading was a major preoccupation among many. A major source of information, amusement and entertainment. No TV. No radio. There was no cinema and no internet.

But the recent past, prior to all these wonderful inventions, was also a time in which, for some at least, there was plenty of ... well, time. Without the myriad distractions of modern life, there was space in the day to simply sit quietly and contemplate ideas. There was space for the thoughts that others may have had in the past. Ideas and sources of inspiration that one might not otherwise have encountered.
Atmospheric painting of woman seated with book, reading. Darkened interior with candle
Peter Vilhelm Ilsted 'Woman Reading by Candlelight' 1908.
There are many paintings of women reading by candlelight. And from many different periods of history, too. It is perhaps the association with the process of enlightenment, of being illuminated by ideas and emotions that makes it such an eternal subject for artists. They wanted to capture that special feeling of receptivity and calm. A feeling that we all know well when absorbed in a really good book.

And so, on the eve of 2015, let me wish you all an exciting, adventurous and joyful year of books ahead! I shall be endeavouring to do my bit, by bringing you a new novel in February. (Stay tuned for the synopsis and video trailer, coming soon). Happy New Year!

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