Enfilade

New Book | Time and Place: Notes on the Art of Calendars

Posted in books by Editor on March 25, 2020

For any of you mindful today of the Calendar Act of 1750, which finally brought Britain into alignment with the Continent through its acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, thus beginning the New Year on January 1 rather than March 25 (the change, including a loss of eleven days, actually went into effect in September 1752). From Little Toller Books:

Alexandra Harris, Time and Place: Notes on the Art of Calendars (Dorset: Little Toller Books, 2019), 104 pages, ISBN: 978-1908213808, £12 / $18.

Dates are invented things. Nothing in nature decrees that today is today. But for millennia humans have divided time into portions, and given those portions names which are shared widely across cultures, creating a common agreement on the date. This convention is useful in practical ways: we can make arrangements and can communicate time elapsed or time ahead. But the calendar also makes a certain kind of truth and establishes that today is today. As calendars and almanacs developed, art from their specific time and place was naturally incorporated. In this small book showcasing the finest and most interesting art that has gone into almanacs, from the eight century onwards, Alexandra Harris brings in everything from Benedictine calendars to Old Moore’s Almanack.

Alexandra Harris is a renowned, prize-winning writer, critic, and cultural historian. Her books include Romantic Moderns, Weatherland, Modernism on Sea, and Virginia Woolf.