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Mewingham Manor


Mewingham Manor, Observations on a Curious New Species
Written and Illustrated by Laura Von Stetina

The Midwest Book Review Reviewer's Choice.

Winner of The Kukendall Image Award, Muse Medallion and Certificate of Excellence in the 2003 Cat Writers' Communication Contest.
Top honors in juried shows of fine art have been awarded to individual drawings and paintings reproduced in Mewingham Manor.

The Creation of Mewingham Manor

The delightful winged kittens and mice that inhabit Mewingham Manor are products of artist and author Laura Von Stetina’s fertile imagination. The flittens and minis made their first appearances in watercolors and drawings done for an exhibition of miniature art. The tiny creatures were so compelling that it soon became evident that their story needed to be told, and the writing of the book quickly became a family affair. For inspiration in creating the fictitious character of Edwina Von Stetina, Laura looked to her real-life ancestor, Lydia Moodey, a Victorian artist. Laura and Bruce’s family pets served as models for the illustrations. Bruce created the text and drawings attributed to the seafaring Captain Katt. 

The Story
In 1875, Edwina Von Stetina, an amateur naturalist, inherits a secluded country estate from her seafaring uncle Captain Bartholomew Katt. Soon after arriving at Mewingham Manor she discovers some curious new animals; they appear to be tiny butterfly-winged kittens and miniature winged mice! After finding her Uncle's journals, Edwina learns that the winged kittens are called flittens, and the tiny mice are known as minis. Captain Katt's study of these fascinating creatures was his lifetime work, and she reads about how he collected many species of flittens on his voyages around the world and brought them back to Mewingham Manor. Captain Katt did not intentionally collect minis, but the mischievous little "mice" were not about to the left behind! The existence of flittens and minis was kept secret, first by the Captain, then by Edwina and the faithful staff at the manor. Only now is the story being told. Mewingham Manor is Edwina's sketchbook journal that chronicles her first months at the manor and the discovery of the Flittens and Minis. The 72-page book contains more than 30 paintings and 100 pencil drawings. It has been published in German and French translations.

Tropical Fruit Tabby

What is a Flitten?
Flittens are small winged animals that look like a cross between an exotic butterfly and an immature house cat, and seem to have the finest characteristics of both. There are many species of flitten, closely resembling many breeds of house cats, and they can be found all over the world. Adept at concealment, flittens are rarely seen by humans. The trick to seeing flittens is in knowing how to look, and once a person starts noticing flittens they will begin to see them everywhere - in the meadow, in the garden, and sometimes in the kitchen.

Off to the Races!

What is a Mini?
Minis are tiny mouse-like creatures with wings that resemble the wings of a dragonfly. The dragonfly wings suit the nature of minis, which is quick and darting. Minis are fun-loving little creatures, living every day to the fullest. They can be seen dancing on flowers, riding on beetles as if they were race horses or stealing treats from the kitchen. Minis can be found wherever there are flittens.
Illustrations From Mewingham Manor

Cat's Cradle, watercolor


Lazy Afternoon, acrylic

Small Talk, watercolor

Hatchlings, acrylic


The Mushroom Dweller, watercolor


Flitten Totem Pole, acrylic

Woodland Calicos, acrylic


Log Dweller, watercolor


Movin' On, watercolor


Internet Bookwatch

Reviewer's Choice

Capably written and wonderfully illustrated by Edwina Von Stetina, Mewingham Manor: Observations On A Curious New Species is a delightful fantasy picture book showcasing the "natural history" and life cycle of a delightful imaginary species of butterfly-winged cats. Warm color illustrations and gentle, memorable text bring these remarkable flying kittens to life. Mewingham Manor is highly recommended and would make an impressive Memorial Fund acquisition choice for any community library collection.

Samples of Readers' Response:
Dear Laura: My book came today and I am speechless!  As an artist I appreciate the art work.....but the imagination behind the pictures is just wonderful! Thank you so much.  I am recommending this book to everyone.  Lois
Hi Laura,  I think your book will make a perfect gift for all my cat loving friends, but I will certainly keep the first copy for myself :-). I saw that the German version of your lovely book is on sale from next month over here, so I have no doubt that it will take the hearts of all German speaking cat lovers by storm. Renate
Laura, Your book is just the right kind of whimsy I need these days. It seems to help keep the creativity inside me alive. Debra

All images copyright Laura Von Stetina.
For information regarding the licensing of Mewingham Manor images, contact Laura at vsart1@embarqmail.com .




Laura and Bruce Von Stetina
370 NE Cattail Dr
Madison, FL 32340
(850) 973-6315