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Friday, June 20, 2008

The World Has Lost Another Treasure

MARLBORO, Vt. (AP) — Children's book illustrator Tasha Tudor, whose whimsical drawings of country outings, gardens and family life in rural New England echoed her own picturesque lifestyle, has died. She was 92. Tudor, who illustrated such classics as Little Women and The Secret Garden, died Wednesday at her home, surrounded by her family and friends, according to a statement posted on her website. Her death was confirmed by Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro, which was handling the arrangements. "She was ahead of her time, but she lived in the past," said Jill Adams-Mancivalano, a longtime friend. Tudor, who quit school after eighth grade, wrote or collaborated on nearly 100 children's books after making her debut with Pumpkin Moonshine in 1938. Besides The Secret Garden, she illustrated The Night Before Christmas and wrote books of her own, including Corgiville Fair. Her home in this southern Vermont town was a replica of a 19th-century New England homestead, replete with antique utensils, tiny windows and doorways of varying sizes. In later life, she burnished her reputation among fans with her gardening, weaving and sewing exploits. She made her own clothing — fashioned after 19th-century apparel — and raised Nubian goats for their milk. Adams-Mancivalano, whose family farm in nearby Wilmington hosted open-to-the-public birthday parties and other events in which Tudor held forth with fans, called her a witty, engaging homebody who loved to insert friends, family members and little details of her own life into her work. "Just to watch her draw — the detail and the whimsy that she had in her later life was just incredible. I asked her about that one time, how her work has evolved, and her comment to me was, 'Well, my eyesight is starting to fail, and I don't have the perfection I used to,' so she'd add more stuff." Her family said an online memorial on her website was open for fans to share their feelings and memories of her. The address is


smilnsigh said...

What a life!!!

Please have a lovely Midsummer Night's Eve. I hope Grace sees some faeries dancing under a flower or a leaf. :-)

Take Joy, as Dear Tasha said!

'Smilnsigh' blog

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a life of talent and inspiration!! She will be missed!!

kari & kijsa

Tara said...

I have sesen her mentioned on a few blogs today-----thanks for letting me in on who she is!

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

I used to love to see pictures of her garden. She was an inspiring woman, Hugs, DebraK

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Very interesting post.

I haven't been here before. Your blog looks very interesting. I can see from the number of posts that you've been at it awhile!
I think i'll add you to my list! Okay?
Blogging newbie,

justabeachkat said...

She was amazing!


Mary Isabella said...

She was a beautiful inspiration and left us with so many beautiful things...Mary

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words. I bet you are having a bust summer.

Rosemary said...

What a great lady!

Hooked on Houses said...

I hadn't heard this. I love her work. The Secret Garden is one of my most treasured books from childhood. Thanks for this beautiful post! -Julia

Pamela said...

brilliant people are often eccentric.

I didn't know that much about her until I read your post.

Ty Huls said...

Their are so many beautiful things in this blog that I am confused about which I say first. Firstly the background combination is best according to the blog. Then the rabbit cottage in the water near the trees is a great scene. The lady picking flowers is looking loke my grand ma.

Pat said...

I was sorry to see we all lost Tasha Tudor too! Lovely post

Hugs, Pat

Simply Heart And Home said...

I am so behind in my reading and posting. I love Tasha Tudor's books and such. I did not realize that she had died. What a beautiful and inspiring person she was.

wendster said...

How I love great illustrators. And what fairy tale backdrop to live in and draw from. I am happy for her for her successes and her happy life. What an inspiration.