The Beauty of the Illustrated Word

It’s no secret that I love beautiful art and, especially, beautiful book illustrations. I’m a fan of Susan Cooper on Facebook (the author of the fantastic The Dark is Rising sequence) and she occasionally posts information about new editions of the books. A few months ago, new editions from the Folio Society caught my eye. Once I went to the website to explore their other offerings I was quickly sucked into the beauty of their editions.

In their own words, The Folio Society believes that “great books should be outstanding not only in literary content but also in their physical form: this has been the philosophy of The Folio Society since it was founded in 1947 by Charles Ede, with a dream of publishing beautiful books that would be affordable to everyone.” At $40 plus for most of the books, these editions are, unfortunately, out of my purchasing range. I encourage you to visit the website and drool over the books though. And if you’re in a generous mood, let me know! I will send my wishlist to you immediately.

Some highlights from the books (click on the picture for more info on the book and more pictures):


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman;
Illustrations by Peter Bailey


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams;
Illustrations by Jonathan Burton


The Arabian Nights;
Illustrations by Edward J. Detmold


At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald;
Illustrations by Maria L. Kirk


From The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis;
Illustrations by Pauline Baynes


From The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper;
Illustrations by Laura Carlin


Pinocchio translated by Mary Alice Murray;
Illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith


From The Olive Fairy Book by Andrew Lang;
Illustrations by Kate Baylay


The Once and Future King by T. H. White;
Illustrations by John Lawrence


From Perrault’s Fairy Tales;
Illustrations by Edmund Dulac


From The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien;
Illustrations by Ingahild Grathmer


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien;
Illustrations by Eric Fraser

Yikes. Maybe I went overboard a little bit. But so many beautiful illustrations! Oh and in light of that last one have y’all seen the new Hobbit trailer yet?


4 thoughts on “The Beauty of the Illustrated Word

  1. Rob says:

    Some of the most beautiful illustrations in the world come from children’s books, particularly the great ones, as you’ve well demonstrated by your selections! I still love and collect (and occasionally even read!) children’s books. Much better than some of the dark things that pass for adult fiction these days. Thanks for a nice break from reality!


  2. jubilare says:

    *clutches heart* What have you done to me? I am ruined!


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