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The Blooming of Mary Delany's Ingenious Mind 

May 2019

In 1717, at age 17, Mary Granville Delany was married off to a rich ogre who died and left her destitute seven years later. (Beauty and the Beast without the happily-ever-after.⁣)

At 43, she found true love and completely reinvented herself. But Mary's great creative blooming came in her 70s when she embarked on her life’s work—creating 985 life-size botanical depictions now held by the British Museum.⁣

Some consider her the Mother of Mixed Media Collage because she employed paint, tissue paper, and actual flower parts. Nothing like it had been seen before!⁣

Mary lived to age 88 under the patronage of King George III (the guy who lost those thirteen colonies), creating to the very end.⁣

Click here to read about the astonishing twists and turns of Mary's life.

Words from the Wise Ones

"An ingenious mind is never too old to learn."
—Mary Granville Delany (1700-1788)

May Celebrations

May 9, 1920: Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, was born. A career civil servant, he created the story to entertain his two daughters on a long road trip. At age 52, it made him a literary sensation. READ MORE

May 14, 1700: Birth of the ingenious Mary Granville Delany. At age 72, she invented mixed media collage. READ MORE

May 21, 1844: Birth of painter Henri Rousseau. At age 40, after decades as a customs inspector, Rousseau taught himself to paint but didn't quit his day job for another nine years. The official Salon rejected his work for lack of skill. Rousseau refused to give up. READ MORE

Did you miss your 2019 Later Bloomer Calendar in January? You can still download it here. Enjoy!

More Proof It's Never Too Late...

One Man's Trash is This Woman's Treasure


Over on Instagram, I recently mused about the silliness of measuring our lives by standardized achievements. Why not just chase creativity, like a caterpillar in constant metamorphosis? 

Debra Rapoport, age 73, is a technicolor incarnation of this notion. She's a visual artist and fashion designer who works with recycled materials, even garbage, to create something unique, wearable, and always surprising. 
She sells her trademark paper towel hats for $250 to $400. Her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian and the Met. She even teaches a workshop called "Anything Is A Hat!"
Follow this link to view a fun three-minute video about Debra from Jezebel magazine. 

Here's a bit of her wisdom: "Anything is possible at any age as long as you are open to it!"

Warmly, (the other)

P.S. Thank you, fellow late-blooming archaeologist Caroline Tully for sending me the Debra Rapoport video.
Thanks for reading! I'm Debra Eve, proud late bloomer and possessor of many passions.

At, I've written profiles of more than 80 people in the arts, humanities, and sciences who followed their creative passions later in life. You can also find Later Bloomer on Instagram and Facebook.

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