Two Turtle Doves is the story of a life spent making things. Growing up in 1970s Suffolk in a crumbling giant of a house with wild, tangled gardens, Alex Monroe was left to wreak havoc by invention. Without visible parental influence, but with sisters to love him and brothers to fight for him, he made nature into his world. Creation became a compulsion, whether it was go-carts and guns, cross-bows and booby-traps, boats, bikes or scooters. And then, it was jewellery.
From full-out warfare waged against the local schoolboys to the freedom found in daredevil Raleigh bike antics to the delicacies of dress-making and the most intricate designs for jewellery, Two Turtle Doves traces the intimate journey of how an idea is transformed from a fleeting thought into an exquisite piece of jewellery. It is about where we find our creativity, how we remember and why we make the things we do.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
It's rare to read a book by a jeweller. My liking for puns makes me want to call this one a gem. Sorry.
What makes this book so enchanting is that its author, who clearly has a talent when it comes to making exquisite, delicate gold birds, feathers and flowers worn around the necks of his fashionable British and European clientele, also has a genuine aptitude for memoir. His memories of an imaginative, unconventional country childhood are English eccentric at its best. From his earliest days, Monroe had the urge to make things - often using dangerous material to comic and disastrous effect.
This is a tremendous book. A generous story of making, looking, travelling and growing up... Edmund de Waal This month we're excited about ... Jeweller Alex Monroe's memoir. 'I loved his accounts of childhood escapades, his honesty about feeling shy at big events and his admission that, for his, real satisfaction comes not from glitzy parties but from seeing a stranger on a train wearing one of his creation.' Recommended Psychologies A hidden gem ... A good deal more than a memoir. It is difficult to think of a text that better describes the way in which lived experience is translated by high craftsmanship into art ... I imagine its being rediscovered with delight in some dusty book case a century hence and hailed as a classic Spectator A wonderful book, a hymn to the pleasurable process of making things The Times Just as delicate and golden as his famous pieces - a heartfelt celebration of creativity, craftsmanship and love Harper's Bazaar Magical Elle A memoir plus, brilliantly describing how lived experience is translated by craftsmanship into art Spectator Books of the Year
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st April 2014
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 15.3 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.51
Edition Number: 1