Last week I saw this article in The Guardian, Writers’ favourite classic book illustrations – in pictures and it reminded me of my childhood reading experience. We didn’t have a television during the period between me being five and twelve (ish) so I read – a lot.
I was read, and later read, the Narnia stories over and over again. I poured over Pauline Baynes’ delicate illustrations for hours. One year my nana gave me The Observers’ Book of European Costume illustrated by Pauline Baynes. (If anyone finds a copy with To Jill Love from Nana and Grandad inscribed in it it’s mine!). I’ve had a lifelong love of historical costume, and I think this was an early addition to my collection of costume books. I really like use of the two colours and the way the illustrations form a frieze. Published in 1975, the book starts at 1st century Roman and finishes at 1900 with a detailed 37-page glossary.
I was going to talk about some other books and other illustrators, but I think I’ll leave it for later – so more later!