Together with the National Library of Ireland, Architectural Press presents seventy previously unpublished drawings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The identification in the National Library of Ireland of three sketchbooks, from which these drawings have been selected, represents a significant addition to the body of early drawings by Mackintosh. The sketches date from a crucial period in the young man's development, spanning his highly successful student years and the beginnings of his professional career. Each of the three sketchbooks covers an area central to his growth as an artist: the architecture of his native Scotland, an important scholarship journey in Italy and, Mackintosh's first love and greatest influence, the study of plants and growing things. Essentially private, these little known and unique works provide privileged access to significant moments in the artist's intellectual and emotional life. In this book Elaine Grogan attempts to take them out of the library display-case and bring them to life in the hands of the reader. She invites us to look over Mackintosh's shoulder on his early tentative steps towards fulfilment as a creative genius. Connections are traced, both backwards in time to his training and forwards to his great successes and eventual bitter eclipse.