Thursday, April 5, 2012

A lovey flea market find!

I couldn't resist sharing this lovely little book I stumbled upon at a flea market in Marlay Park recently. As soon as I saw the cover I recognised the bold, graphic hand of David Gentleman. I love his pared-back, yet deeply expressive approach to design. I imagine he did these using wood engraving.

Details: 'The Griffin and the Minor Canon' by Frank Stockton, and 'The Magic Fishbone' by Charles Dickens; published by The Bodley Head Ltd, Acorn Library Books, 1960.

Lovely orange end papers:

And here's a sample of the wonderful illustrations:

The stories themselves are a pleasant read, both new to me. The Griffin, while an entertaining concept, may contain an attitude to perceived willful illness and poverty that would be unpalatable to modern audiences. Dicken's Fishbone is a sweet story, which draws heavily on long-established fairytales for it's main plotline (the little Duchess character playing a very similar role to the little doll in the Russian fairytale 'Vasilissa the Beautiful').

For an excellent interview with David Gentlemen, see here. Another good blog entry with further links here.

No comments: