REVIEW: All for Love/Off the Beaten Track edited by Laura Stoddart

Two for one today – mainly because they are very small and both of the same ilk. And I reviewed, not that long ago, another one of Stoddart’s anthologies (here it is).

There are two reasons I love these little books so much. The first is the beautiful illustrations by Ms Stoddart that are on every page. I love her tiny misshapen people and her quirky landscapes. One page in All for Love features a page of 35 different-shaped noses.

The other reason is the quotations and excerpts she selects for inclusion in these volumes aren’t just the serious ones – there’s a lovely selection of sincere, sarcastic and just strange.

In All for Love as well as things like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee…” we have Jerome K Jerome telling us “love is like the measles; we all have to go through it” or Agatha Christie adding that “when a man is in love he can’t help looking like a sheep”. Maurice Chevalier adds: “Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it.”

Each book is divided into several parts. In Off the Beaten Track we have In Search of Adventure, Advice to the Traveller, Those Who Choose to Roam, Diverse Discoveries and Meditations on Travel.

The books include quotes from ancient Greeks and Romans, authors like Shakespeare and Jane Austen, wits like Chevalier and Dorothy Parker and a whole lot more.

Stoddart has put together collections that are beautifully illustrated and fun to read. What could be better than that?

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