The Illustrators of Alice

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Latest book purchase is this large format volume from 1972, one of a number of interesting art books produced by Academy Editions in the early seventies. I also have their monographs on Odilon Redon, “insane” painter Richard Dadd, and their collection of Félicien Rops‘ pornographic and “Satanist” drawings which remains one of the few Rops books published in English.

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Through the Looking-Glass by Mervyn Peake (Allen Wingate, London, 1954).

This collection is worth seeking out if you’re interested in minor Victorian and Edwardian illustrators. The book goes through each chapter of the Alice stories showing examples of illustrated editions by a wide range of illustrators and artists, from Lewis Carroll’s original drawings, Tenniel’s inimitable renderings, then on through the twentieth century, featuring artists such as Peter Blake, Ralph Steadman and even a picture by Max Ernst. The cover drawing is one of my favourites, from Charles Robinson, brother of the more famous William Heath. I also like the pictures by the great Mervyn Peake, one of the few illustrators who seemed able to overcome Tenniel’s dominance and show us something new.

The Alice books are one of the great “standards” (in the jazz sense) of illustration although I can’t say I’ve ever felt the temptation to approach them myself. Loathsome monstrosities from hideously-angled dimensions beyond space and time, yes; small Victorian girls and white rabbits, no.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys

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The great Hal Willner is doing his eclectic thing again. A marvellous collection of folk ballads. Nice cover as well, from Howard Pyle’s celebrated pirate paintings.

Disc: 1
1. Cape Cod Girls—Baby Gramps
2. Mingulay Boat Song—Richard Thompson
3. My Son John—John C. Reilly
4. Fire Down Below—Nick Cave
5. Turkish Revelry—Loudon Wainwright III
6. Bully In The Alley—The Old Prunes
7. The Cruel Ship’s Captain—Bryan Ferry
8. Dead Horse—Robin Holcomb
9. Spanish Ladies—Bill Frisell
10. High Barbary—Joseph Arthur
11. Haul Away Joe—Mark Anthony Thompson
12. Dan Dan—David Thomas
13. Blood Red Roses—Sting
14. Sally Brown—Teddy Thompson
15. Lowlands Away—Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGarrigle
16. Baltimore Whores—Gavin Friday
17. Rolling Sea—Eliza McCarthy
18. Haul On The Bowline—Bob Neuwirth
19. Dying Sailor to His Shipmates—Bono
20. Bonnie Portmore—Lucinda Williams
21. The Mermaid—Martin Carthy & the UK Group
22. Shenandoah—Richard Greene & Jack Shit
23. The Cry Of Man—Mary Margaret O’Hara

Disc: 2
1. Boney—Jack Shit
2. Good Ship Venus—Loudon Wainwright III
3. Long Time Ago—White Magic
4. Pinery Boy—Nick Cave
5. Lowlands Low—Bryan Ferry w/Antony
6. One Spring Morning—Akron/Family
7. Hog Eye Man—Martin Carthy & Family
8. The Fiddler/A Drop Of Nelson’s Blood—Ricky Jay & Richard Greene
9. Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold—Andrea Corr
10. Fathom The Bowl—John C. Reilly
11. Drunken Sailor—Dave Thomas
12. Farewell Nancy—Ed Harcourt
13. Hanging Johnny—Stan Ridgway
14. Old Man of The Sea—Baby Gramps
15. Greenland Whale Fisheries—Van Dyke Parks
16. Shallow Brown—Sting
17. The Grey Funnel Line—Jolie Holland
18. A Drop of Nelson’s Blood—Jarvis Cocker
19. Leave Her Johnny—Lou Reed
20. Little Boy Billy—Ralph Steadman

Previously on { feuilleton }
The music of The Wicker Man
Davy Jones