Tag Archives: illustrators

The History of Tom Jones 1959 Folio Society edition

Tom Jones (Folio Soc)

Here we have a lovely 1959/1973 Folio Society edition of The History of Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. The illustrations are by Derrick Harris.

The History of Tom Jones was first published in 1749 and is one of my favourite early novels. I was really pleased to pick up this copy for £1.25!

It’s even got a slipcase…
Tom Jones (Folio Soc)

And tells you what paper it’s printed on…
Tom Jones (Folio Soc)

Tom Jones (Folio Soc)

Tom Jones (Folio Soc)

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The Original Alice in Wonderland 1988

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

This edition is illustrated by Eric Kincaid and published by Brimax Books as a WHSmith exclusive. It’s heavily illustrated – a mix of text and illustration and full-page and spreads.

Picked up in a charity shop sale for 30p. I also got Peter Pan – also illustrated by Eric Kincaid (I’ll post that later).

Alice has brown hair in this edition and looks more like Alice Liddell than the blonde Disney Alice.

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

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1960s The Treasury of Children’s Literature in Colour

Treasury of Children's Literature

A few weeks ago I was browsing the children’s shelves in the wonderful Eric T Moore Books in Hitchin when I noticed this fairly unremarkable looking book. As I hadn’t yet come across anything I wanted to buy I picked it up anyway, expecting a generic collection of fairy tales. But what wonders were within! It is a treasury indeed.

Turns out this is a 1981 WHSmith exclusive printing of a book originally published in the 1960s by Western Publishing Inc. The treasury is edited and selected by Bryna and Louis Untermeyer (and some of the stories are retold by Louis Untermeyer). It is 544 pages long and contains selections from The Just So Stories, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, The Sword in the Stone, the Hobbit, The Wizard of Oz and countless others. And best of all, every story is illustrated – sometimes by illustrators I’m familiar with – EH Shepard, John Tenniel, Charley Harper, Alice and Martin Provensen and some new-to-me illustrators such as Gordon Laite.

Wonderful colours in Robert J Lee’s Hobbit illustrations – I love the flowers on Gandalf’s robe. He also illustrates Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon.

Treasury of Children's Literature

An Unexpected Party from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien illustrated by Robert J Lee

Treasury of Children's Literature

Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon by CS Forester and illustrated by Robert J Lee

Charley Harper’s stunning Bambi illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Bambi by Felix Salten and illustrated by Charley Harper

This gorgeous owl in his green sunglasses. (I didn’t know this story or illustrator.)

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Raoul the Owl by Jay Williams and illustrated by Lilian Obligado

This was the first time I’d come across Gordon Laite. His fairy story illustrations are fantastic.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Cinderella illustrated by Gordon Laite

Treasury of Children's Literature

Rapunzel illustrated by Gordon Laite

Adrienne Ségur has one illustration in Sleeping Beauty. Her work is beautiful and I am hoping to get a copy of her Alice one day.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Sleeping Beauty Illustrated by Adrienne Ségur

The wonderful Richard Scarry illustrates Drakestail.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Drakestail illustrated by Richard Scarry

A Japanese take on Bluebeard.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Bluebeard Illustrated by Kanako Tanabe

Ray Bradbury’s short story about learning not to be afraid of the dark.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Switch on the Night by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by Hilary Knight

I didn’t know these stories either. I love Jean Winslow’s pen (or pencil) and watercolour (I think) illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Ting-a-Ling and the Five Magicians by Frank R Stockton illustrated by Jean Winslow

And finally Aesop’s Fables retold by Louis Untermeyer and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. A grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s!

Treasury of Children's Literature

The Cat and the Mice from Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen



There are so so many wonderful stories and illustrators in this book this is just scratching the surface. And the moral of this story is don’t judge a book by its cover!

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Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Ooh La La!

Found today in an Oxfam Bookshop. Isn’t it gorgeous! I’ve never been any closer to Paris than Disneyland and flying past the airport on a train, but this has made me want to go. Although I’m sure this Paris is very hard to find now…

The jacket flap begins: Here is a book of complete enchantment. A book that evokes the spirit of Paris as individually as a whiff of a Gauloise.

Originally published in 1950, this is the revised and expanded version published in 1957 by Perpetua Books. (Ooh and set in Perpetua twelve point, on paper by the Inveresk Paper Co, at Musselburgh, Scotland, and bound by James Burn at Esher. I love it when typefaces get a credit!)

Kaye Webb writes in her introduction: We think Paris is novel and remarkable. We also think it is beautiful and stimulating. We believe the best way of proving this is to offer you drawings to look at. The text which accompanies them may be regarded as a faint prompting from the wings, a gentle murmur of conversation intended to keep you long enough before each picture to allow interest to awaken, memories to stir, and the charm of Paris in the springtime to sweep over you.

The book begins and ends with this image of the Eiffel Tower – something they view with ‘reluctant tenderness’.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Eiffel Tower from the Rue St Dominique

The Musée Rodin where the ‘nursemaids come and sit while their charges play round the plinths of Adam and Eve’.

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

There’s lots about the nightlife.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

The Lido

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

La Rose Rouge

And of course the more morbid and macabre.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Père-Lachaise

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Grand Guignol

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Ooh La La! Sixties Pin-up Playing Cards

1960s playing cards

Four aces

Ooh La La! Not a book today, but a pack of gorgeous sixties playing cards. I got sidetracked down the road of playing cards recently and came across these on Ebay. And they are fifty-two pieces of utter fabulousness. According to The Internet the deck was called ‘Cherie’, and they were made in 1965, possibly as an advertising deck or possibly a version was put out as an advertising deck. The illustrators were Hans and Louise Neupert.

These come right out of the time of Sweet Charity, James Bond, Viva Maria and Cat Ballou – faux Wild West showgirls, Fosse, feathers, fans, sequins and ‘legs that go on for ever’.

The court cards and aces are illustrated in zingy, vibrant colour with a different woman on each card, the number cards have a line drawing for each number. Hearts and Diamonds are printed in Schiaparelli pink instead of red. They use a luscious, curvy script font. My set, unfortunately, came without the original box and no jokers (but I knew that before I bought them). I shall try to track down the jokers at some point.

Gin Rummy, anyone?

1960s playing cards

“Hey, big spender”?

1960s playing cards

Close up of number card

1960s playing cards

four suits

1960s playing cards

Card backs

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More Alice in Wonderland

concept Art Disney Alice

Alice cover

This time it’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with David Hall’s previously unpublished illustrations for Walt Disney Productions. First published by Methuen in 1986 and with an afterword by Brian Sibley. I picked this up in a YMCA charity shop for £1.50. Sadly it has slight water damage, but I’ve been able to separate all the pages and there is no staining.

In 1939 David Hall was commissioned to create concept artwork for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The project was shelved at that time (because of the War) and didn’t go into production until 1948. Apparently these illustrations didn’t see the light of day again until this book was published. Hall’s illustrations are fascinating – you can see the slight beginnings of the final Disney film in some places and echoes of early Mickey Mouse in some of the characters (see the mouse below). But many of the illustrations are quite menacing and nightmarish. The court scene is particularly gruesome with its guillotine and vertiginous POV. Brian Sibley’s afterword is very interesting and covers the history of Alice on film up to and including the final Disney version.

concept Art Disney Alice

Drink me. The bottle is an animated character. In the final film the door knob was animated.

concept Art Disney Alice

Lobster Quadrille

concept Art Disney Alice

The court – complete with guillotine!

concept Art Disney Alice

Caucus race and the mouse’s tail

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The White Cat

image from The White Cat

The White Cat cover

Another book illustrated by the wonderful Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone. This is a French fairy story by Madame la Comtesse d’Aulnoy written in 1682. Published by Dean 1972. This isn’t a story that appears in fairytale collections very often, let alone in a book to itself. It’s a classic enchanted-creature, dividing the kingdom tale, but in this story the enchanted creature is the princess and the prince is on the journey.

Three princes are sent on a quest to find the prettiest, tiniest dog for their father. The youngest prince gets lost in the forest and finds his way to a mysterious castle where the servants are strange disembodied hands. It turns out that the castle is the home of the Queen of Cats.

image from The White Cat

The prince meets the Queen of Cats

The Queen of Cats takes quite a fancy to the prince and he stays with her until it is time to return to his father. The Queen gives him a dog that fits inside a cob nut. Of course the King was a bit put out by this and sent his sons on another quest and so on and so on.

While the youngest prince is living with the Queen of Cats she treats him to entertainments, parties and feasts. She even has her own theatre – isn’t this great!

image from The White Cat

Cat theatre!

I won’t tell you the end of the story – but suffice to to say they lived happily ever after…

image from The White Cat

Watching the fireworks

The illustration is sumptuous and the costumes are authentic late-1600s. Costume was one of the Johnstone sisters’ great strengths and interests – especially Anne (I believe Janet focussed on animals).

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A 1960s Prague Guidebook

Prague guidebook cover

Cover

I like to collect old guidebooks of places I’ve been…
I’m not sure where I picked this up. Love the illustration and the maps and the blue and orange spot colours on the insides.

The title page reads

Prague

an intimate guide to Czechoslovakia’s thousand-year-old capital,
its beauties, its art-historical monuments, its sights, ancient and modern, its romantic nooks and corners, with their historical and literary associations

It’s by Alois Svoboda and published in 1968 by Olympia.

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Books and illustrators from my childhood number 7: Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain

Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain – Reader’s Digest 1973. Not at children’s book, but my parents bought this in the 70s and I pored over it for hours and days. I knew every page.

It was divided into geographic areas with a map at the beginning of each section. The map showed symbols according to the topic of the entry – from fabulous beasts to witches and wizards. (I love a map anyway, but that’s another story.)

Map spread from Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain

Map spread

I found it again in a second-hand shop in Hastings a few years ago.

The book was cornucopia of treasures – perfect to dip into. But, as a child, some of it was deliciously scary – tales of screaming skulls, ghosts and witches.

There were several artists – this one had a sort of cross-hatch style, that feels very intricate and time consuming.

To add a note to this: I did a little investigating and it turns out this artist is Robin Jacques. See here He is the brother of the famous British actor Hattie Jacques.

St Dunstan and the Devil from Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain

St Dunstan and the Devil

Spread from Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain

Fairies

And here’s our Hertfordshire story – Catherine Ferrers – the Wicked Lady.

Spread from Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain

The Wicked Lady

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Children’s books and their illustrators from a distant childhood

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. The illustrator isn’t credited but the illustrations have the initials TK.
A Peekobook. Printed and Published by Perry Colour Books Ltd. 11 Buckingham Street, London W.C.2. I think it’s pre-1940s, but there is no date. One of a series.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby the Robin is a cautionary tale of what might happen if you are a robin and you spend too much time shopping for hats.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby loves shopping for hats.
Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

While Ruby is in Peter Robin and Sons trying on hats she wishes that she could keep one of the hats on forever. A ‘queer little man all dressed in green’ suddenly appears and grants her wish. But all the other birds laugh at her and the hat won’t come off. Finally the little man relents and grants Ruby her wish to be rid of the hat.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

The moral of the story.
Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Apparently ‘There are more important things to do in life than buy new hats all day.’ Words to live by surely?! The story ends with the line, ‘Now Ruby is a wiser bird and often goes hunting for crumbs and berries with the other little robins, instead of spending all her time looking in shop windows.

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