Felicity, Art, War, and Peace by Piers R. Blackett and Annah Otis Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Piers R. Blackett, along with Annah Otis, shares his mother’s artwork and the experiences and periods of time in which they were created in the book “Felicity, Art, War and Peace”.


The Synopsis

Felicity, Art, War and Peace: This is the inspiring story of an English-born artist, who, born in 1911, lost her father in the first world war. Her school years were in Italy, where her Scottish mother owned a tearoom, and where she began her art education. She married a British army officer and accompanied him to India where she attended art school. But further education was cut short in 1939 by tumultuous war years followed by two years in Germany while her second husband, Rupert, a close friend of Tommy her first husband, served in the British Army of Occupation. Both men were wounded, Rupert severely and Tommy fatally. Then, a move to South Africa in 1948 resulted in relative peace, her style evolving from classic realism to include more impressionistic representation of her subjects. After moving back to England in 1972, her work was twice accepted for exhibition by the Royal West of England Academy. She remained intent on capturing movement, expression, and communication among domestic and wild animals, and birds. The Slimbridge Wetland Centre, as well as her own garden with her ducks and rabbits, provided an ideal environment for inspiration. Missing her 100th birthday by only a few months, her century-long story captures all that her life and commitment to art encompassed, making an enduring impression on children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends who in many ways have contributed to preserving her memory.

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The Review

Yet another amazing and well-written biography that captured both the emotional connection the authors had to the subject of the book and the lifetime of experiences that their lives comprised. The century of history that Felicity’s life experienced was so well documented and infused both hope and passion into events and experiences that were both inspiring yet terrifying at times. The authors did an incredible job of not only sharing a wealth of information but showcasing the importance of finding one’s community to thrive and grow, something that is so important to one’s mental and emotional health.

The heart of this book rests in both the personal experiences and lifetime of events the authors brought to life for Felicity and the beauty of the art from Felicity and the importance of the themes that each art piece and associated memory brought. The honesty and passion of the authors writing and the heart found in the amazing pieces of art that the writers featured from Felicity brought a depth of connection to Felicity as a subject and as a person that the reader is able to make. 

The Verdict

Brilliantly written, heartfelt, and engaging, authors Piers Blackett and Annah Otis’s “Felicity, Art, War and Peace” is a must-read biography about a strong, inspiring, and artistically creative woman who impacted her family and the world around her. The heart and emotion that the authors emote in this book’s writing and the wealth of information were so inviting to read about as a reader, and those who come to learn about Felicity and her life will not want to put this book down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Piers Blackett, a retired professor of pediatrics, was born in England during World War II and grew up in South Africa where he graduated as a doctor at the University of Cape Town. Pediatric residency and specialty fellowship were completed in New York and Toronto. During a career of specialization in endocrinology including metabolism and genetics at at the University of Oklahoma, he authored and co-authored medical publications including book chapters. His first book outside the medical field, “Felicity. Art War and Peace”, a biography co-authored with Annah Otis, was published in 2023.


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