Suggested Reading: “Summer in February”

Munnings Alfred - The Morning Ride
“The Morning Ride”. Sir Alfred Munnings. Oil on canvas.

A recent trip to San Francisco allowed me the luxury of doing something I seldom do anymore, start a novel and finish it within one week. But this book, “Summer in February” by Jonathan Smith, about a community of artists living and working on the coast of West Cornwall during the last throes of the Edwardian era, had me in its spell from the very first chapter. The brightest star among them was the boisterous and infamous equestrian and landscape painter, Sir Alfred Munnings. It is the story of his ascent into the art world, and of his marriage to the budding artist Florence Carter-Wood. But it is not their romance, which is based on true events, that you pine for at the end of the novel. There is another storyline woven in here, both haunting and heartbreaking that has stayed with me ever since I put the book down. It is no wonder that the novel has already been turned into a movie. You can watch the movie for free if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber.

Munnings1
“My Horse Is My Friend: The Artist’s Wife and Isaac”. Sir Alfred Munnings. Oil on canvas. C 1922.
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“Rosie and Hazel Buxton meeting the Dunston”. Sir Alfred Munnings. Oil on canvas.