Clare Leighton was one of the most prolific and highly regarded wood engravers of her time, leaving behind a body of work that reflected her rural life in Britain and North America. During the 1930s, as the world around her became increasingly technological, industrial, and urban, Leighton portrayed rural men and women and the ancient methods they used to work the land that would soon vanish forever. Her two best-loved publications, The Farmer’s Year and Four Hedges, reflect this passion for the British countryside. Less well known are her books illustrating and describing rural life in the United States of America, where she emigrated and became a naturalized citizen in 1945, including Southern Harvest and Where Land Meets Sea: The Tide Line of Cape Cod.
Leighton also spent time in Canada with the logging community, winning the respect of Canadian lumberjacks by adopting their way of life. Her wood engravings depicting lumberjacks in the snow-covered forests of Canada are some of her most evocative prints.This lavish anthology includes beautifully reproduced extracts and a detailed introduction to the artist’s life and work, reflecting Leighton’s lifelong fascination with the virtues of the countryside and the people who worked the land.
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