Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
In 1884, at the age of twelve, the remarkable Miss Sarah Elizabeth Birdsall Otis known to all as Birdie made an extraordinary paper dolls house in the form of a book. While these were fashionable enough at the time, they were usually drawn and painted: Birdie, however, chose the medium of collage. Her albums exquisite rooms, accompanying paper dolls and tiny accessories are true works of art, full of period charm but also distinctly appealing to a modern taste and sensibility. Eric Bomans full-colour photographs capture Birdies remarkably vivid fantasy world in all its quirky splendour. Boman also provides an entertaining text giving her life story and the background to the making of the dolls house, accompanied by turn-of- the-century photographs found in her family albums. With an envelope at the back of the book containing press-out dolls and costumes from the original collection, this publication showcases an astonishing example of youthful creativity and is guaranteed to appeal to adults and children alike.