Letters to a niece
Edited with an introduction by Bernard Samuels
200mm x 154mm
240 pages, with illustrated correspondence
A successor to the highly successful monograph on artist Ben Hartley, Dear Susan is based on the recent discovery of a collection of letters, now part of the Ben Hartley archive, which the artist wrote to his niece Susan. The correspondence began in 1960 when Ben Hartley left his native Peak District for Devon where he settled in the village of Ermington. Susan was then approaching six. The letters are full of the humour and colour familiar to lovers of Hartley’s paintings, perfectly adapted for writing to an attentive young correspondent. Reporting to his niece ‘up north’, the letters add up to a delightful bath Toys picture of rural life in the 1960s, with Ben Hartley a keen observer of daily happenings, enlivened by his affectionate depiction of some of the more unusual local characters.