NEW BOOK – THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS – ALAN HOWARD (OUT NOW)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Contrariwise, after Gormenghast (below), this from National Trust.

The most infuriating thing I’ve seen all year.

This fabulously illustrated retelling of English fairy tales should have made me overjoyed to see so many Arthur Rackham illustrations introduced to a new generation. 

But no, I’m livid that The National Trust of all groups has published so many drawings from one of the finest illustrators without so much as a by-line on the cover, inside title page or anywhere I could find, apart from his name topping a six-point list of illustrations at the very end. Scandalous that such a supposedly heritage conscious and aesthetically sensitive organisation can be so disrespectfully remiss. Shame on you, NT! 

(The book itself is a great chance for youngsters to see one of the greats – but please tell them who it is?)

 English Fairy Tales and Legends

£14.99


Hardback. This terrific collection of 12 stories is a great introduction to the different types of traditional story and their place in English oral and written heritage. Includes tales of giants, dragons, fairies and Arthurian romance. Each tale is linked with a specific place or county in England. The book includes notes and histories of each story. 224 pages. ISBN: 1905400659.

(The National Trust have also forgotten to mention on their website the author of this fine re-telling, Rosalind Kerven. Luckily they remembered to put that on the cover)

Blogger’s note: This piece was written by my dear colleague, Mr Howard. Should it transpire that on that occasion his glasses were steamed up and he failed to notice Arthur Rackham’s name prominently displayed on the cover or title page, then all would-belligerent litigants are referred to that gentleman for resolution of any perceived slights upon their honour (his duelling credentials are impeccable and he always prefers to settle out of court).

Best news: Vintage are publishing Gormenghast with Mervyn Peake’s illustrations, many previously unpublished on July 7th (see below).

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