Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Writers' favourite classic book illustrations - a gallery
As part of a campaign with the Folio Society to celebrate beautiful books, writers and artists describe the illustration that means the most to them. From Will Self's childhood fascination with John Tenniel's depiction of Alice in Wonderland to the terror and enchantment Ros Asquith found in Arthur Rackham's depiction of Grimm's Fairy Tales, take a tour through some of literature's most potent visions
Arthur Rackham illustration for Grimm's Fairy Tales
Ros Asquith writes: I discovered Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Grimm's Fairy Tales aged seven and experienced simultaneous love, terror, enchantment and envy. Fairy tales should evoke such emotions but it was Rackham who drew me in. Here, Red Riding Hood innocently reveals her destination to the wolf, so enabling him to devour her grandmother. Dwarfed by her surroundings, she makes the reader long to cry out a warning. Rackham’s varied, fluent lines – a staccato wolf, vigorous tree, limpid girl – are overlaid with menace. Grimm's, for me, remains his masterpiece, but look too at his Gulliver’s Travels and Peter Pan, of which a contemporary critic wrote 'Mr Rackham seems to have dropped out of some cloud in Mr Barrie’s fairyland, sent by a special providence to make pictures in tune to his whimsical genius.'