Sunday, 21 May 2017

"The History Of Pendennis" By William Makepeace Thackeray, Illustrations by the Author (published by Smith, Elder, & Co., London 1898) - Part 2

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) is of course famous for his novels - a reputation matching that of his contemporary Charles Dickens - but his illustrations are of really high quality, quirky and funny. I was so pleased to discover this dusty old book and bought it for just a pound! People don't appreciate good things anymore... A couple of links for biographies on the author below:

Saturday, 13 May 2017

"The Ladybird Book Of Bedtime Stories" By Geoffrey Lapage, Illustrations By George Brook (published by Wills & Hepworth Ltd., Loughborough UK, 9th edition 1950) Part 2

The masterful and charming drawings of George Brook - couldn't find any information about him other than he is British and he illustrated Enid Blyton's famous "Secret Seven" novels from the 1950's to the mid-60's which is a great shame...

Thursday, 4 May 2017

"Llyfr Mawr Hwyl!" By Ivor Owen (published in Wales, UK in the early 1950's)

This is a Welsh language comic book for children published and partly drawn by Ivor Owen. Great characters and fun stories through out - needless to say I couldn't read a word but the pictures are quite unique. There is a feature on a similar volume, published by the same author, on Steve Holland's brilliant blog: This blog has a vast collection of old British Comics and other books.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

"English Villages And Hamlets" By Humphrey Pakington, Cover By Brian Cook, Illustrated By Sydney R. Jones (published by B. T. Batsford Ltd, London 1934, this edition 1941) Part 3

Some of the black and white illustrations in this book by Sydney R. Jones - an excellent draughtsman capturing the atmosphere as well as all architectural details from all those beautiful and unspoiled parts of pre-war England. The book also includes a number of really good photographs but I feel these drawings bring them to life. It is interesting to see how the humble roads enhance the architecture of the villages - by comparison, today's heavily tarmacked roads (made to serve the enormous haulage lorries passing through), ugly lamp posts, pedestrian crossings, signage etc managed to completely ruin the character of most rural areas. Town planners call it "progress"!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

"The Puffin Book Of Nursery Rhymes" By Iona and Peter Opie, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes (published by Penguin Books Ltd, 1963) - Part 3

The fabulous and inspiring illustrations of British artist, Pauline Baynes (1922-2008). She is of course better known for her work on J. R. R. Tolkien's books ("Farmer Giles Of Ham"1949, "The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil"1962, "Smith Of Wootton Major"1967 and "Tree And Leaf"1964) and C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles Of Narnia"(1950-56). This book contains dozens of these beautiful pen & ink drawings. Her lines are so elegant and effortless but so descriptive of the subject. Not many illustrators can draw to such high standard.  Here's the link for her own website and biography which has a huge collection of her work: