47 jewel-like drawings by Ronald Searle made for his wife, Monica, each time she underwent chemotherapy. On New Year's Eve 1969, Monica Searle was diagnosed with a rare and virulent form of breast cancer. Each time she underwent treatment, Ronald produced a Mrs Mole drawing 'to cheer every dreaded chemotherapy session and evoke the blissful future ahead'. Filled with light and illuminated in glowing colours, the drawings speak of love, optimism and hope. Like the mediaeval illuminated manuscripts such as the 15th-century Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, to which the title of this book refers, the 47 drawings are on an intimate scale and were never intended for publication. The story of Monica's survival against the odds and the part played by the encouragement of her husband will move many people who have either experienced cancer for themselves or been affected through a close family member or friend.
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