Monogram E.V.B. from cover of book dated 1884.

Eleanor Vere Boyle

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The Hon. Eleanor Vere (Gordon) Boyle was married to Richard Boyle, a Somerset rector, and lived at Huntercombe Manor¹, Buckinghamshire. In addition to her interest in the garden she was an accomplished artist and writer, and illustrator, of several children's books. In her books she used the initials E.V.B.

Her many children's books include Child's Play written in 1859 and A New (or Second) Child's Play (1879). The latter has sixteen drawings and on the title page a quotation from the poet Schiller "Deep meaning lieth oft in Childish Play". Her book Days and Hours in a Garden (1884) includes many small drawings (in black and white) of the house and garden. These are very detailed and must be enlarged to appreciate the finer points. She painted a series watercolours from which engravings were made to illustrate Sarah Austin's The Story without an End. These examples of her work (c. 1868) shows how minutely detailed was her painting. In the first as well as the more obvious peacock feathers, ivy and beech leaves there are various insects including a spider, fly and grass hopper. The illustration (which measures only 11 x 15 cm) accompanies the lines

'And a neglected Looking-Glass
And the Child cared nothing about the Looking-Glass'

E.V.B. Painting: And a neglected looking-glass.

E.V.B. Painting:

Eleanor Vere Boyle also exhibited a series of figure subjects at the Grosvenor Gallery in London and elsewhere from 1878-81.

¹ Huntercombe Manor lies close to Burnham Abbey and got its name from the legend of Herne the Hunter associated with Windsor Park in Berkshire. The house, a Grade 1 Listed Building, although mostly 19th century does contain a fine 14th century beamed hall. The 19th century garden of 4 ha, described in the book Days and Hours in a Garden was on the site of one dating from the 17th century. The building is now the Huntercombe Manor Hospital a centre specialising in treating and rehabilitating young people experiencing psychiatric, psychological and emotional problems. The garden is regarded as an asset providing an outstanding environment complementing the treatments provided.

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  • Document dated: 20 June 2000 ©

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