Monday, 24 October 2011

I am delighted that John Holder has received the rare accolade of an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. John has illustrated some great Folio books over the years (including the Hippopotamus shown here), and is a fine musician to boot.

Here’s a moody picture of the artist.  The citation describes him as:

‘a veteran illustrator who is known internationally for his phenomenal creative talent.  He specialises in classic pen drawing with a generous twist of humour and these intricate, expressive and evocative drawings have been acclaimed by art critics from every corner of the globe.’

In an earlier post I mentioned that we were working on a complete facsimile of South Polar Times, the in-house magazine of Captain Scott’s Antarctic expeditions. Devising a suitable box has been quite a challenge: it has to hold the twelve books in an upright position and protect them from damage, and we have tried to find which evokes the style and materials available to the expedition. After a few prototypes, we came up with this one, in rough canvas.  There’s a lot of interest building up around this publication, which will appear early next year in what promises to be a blizzard of activity around Scott’s centenary, centred on a big exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

Last week was the Frankfurt Book Fair, at which we have had a stand for the past three years.  It gives a rare opportunity to chat with some of our German members, whose enthusiasm for Folio and for British culture in general is inspiring.  The main reason I go to Frankfurt is to meet with some of the European facsimile publishers, and look at each other’s latest offerings.  Here is one of the most elaborate bindings I came across this year. It is for a manuscript known as the Speyer Pericopes, and is constructed from various metals – the central figure is gilded – and numerous gems. The book is selling for around €20,000.  (If anyone would like to know more, just let me know, and I’ll put them in touch with the publishers.)

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Comments from others

  • Albert Patenaude says:

    The books look great! Do you have any idea as to cost and when they will be available?


    Albert Patenaude

    • Joe Whitlock Blundell says:

      Dear Albert

      Thanks for your comment, I am glad you are looking forward to their publication as much as we are. My hope for the blog is that it gives you an insight into the production process of our Limited Editions as it happens and as such details like price and release dates aren’t yet finalised. This information about SPT should be available in the next few weeks.

  • Mark Jepson says:

    Dear Mr Whitlock Blundell, I hold the limited editions as one of the kernels of the society. However,I am somewhat suprised by the fecundity with which they appear/ Has the Society considered publishing a prospectus indicating ,say, during a year what is to be offered. One feels at the moment bombarded by surprises. Sincerely, Mark Jepson

    • Dear Mr Jepson

      The Limited Edition programme has indeed expanded over the years, though it will slim down when the Letterpress Shakespeare is completed in 2014. As for a catalogue, this is something we can and do produce from time to time, but always after the books have been published, not in advance: this is because it takes such a long time (and unpredictably long, to make matters worse) to produce each of them, that we could not get the necessary material (illustrations, dummy, copy etc) for an advance catalogue of all the titles at once.

  • Dear Mr Whitlock Blundell,

    This is wonderful news. I am really, really, really looking forward to South Polar Times. Is it confirmed that it will be limited to 1000 copies?

    • Joe Whitlock Blundell says:

      Dear Faisel

      We are looking forward to publishing SPT. It is confirmed that the run is limited to 1000 copies.