The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws
This is a beautifully written and deeply personal book on the jigsaw puzzle and the part it plays in the puzzle of its distinguished author's life. ... Show synopsis This is a beautifully written and deeply personal book on the jigsaw puzzle and the part it plays in the puzzle of its distinguished author's life. It is a mix of memoir, jigsaw history and the strange delights of puzzling. James Boswell described the 'innocent soothing relief from melancholy' of playing draughts, and Margaret Drabble - among countless others - has found a similar solace from assembling jigsaws. In "The Pattern in the Carpet", she describes the history of this uniquely British form of meditation, from its earliest incarnation as a dissected map, used as a teaching tool in the late eighteenth century, to the other cut-outs and mosaics that have amused children and adults from Roman times until today.Woven carefully through her account are the author's intimate memories of her Auntie Phyl - her childhood visits to the house in Long Bennington on the Great North Road, their first visit to London together, the books they read and, above all, the jigsaws that they completed. The resulting book is an original and moving personal history about ageing and the authenticity of memory; about the importance of childhood play; and, how we rearrange objects into new patterns to make sense of our past and ornament our present. It will delight and transport its readers.