A cascading cornucopia of cool comics, cartoons & classic collectables - plus other completely captivating & occasionally controversial content! With nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, remorseful ruminations, melancholy musings, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (To say nothing of a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in for good measure.) Plus a bevy of beautiful, bedazzling, and buxom 'Babes'!
Friday, 29 June 2012
THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN...
It's no secret to those who know me that The WIND In The WILLOWS, by KENNETH GRAHAME, is my all-time favourite
'kids' book. I'm especially partial to the E.H. SHEPARD illustrated
edition, though I have quite a few other versions featuring the work of
different artists. Apparently, ARTHUR RACKHAM was the author's first choice to supply the visuals (if it had to have some - I believe he
thought the book would be better without pictures), though the artist
didn't actually get around to the task until about 30 years later, after
Grahame's death. However, nice as Rackham's pictures are,
it is Shepard's which remain the definitive ones.
When Ernest Shepard accepted the commission on the book,
he was following three previous artists whose illustrations were far
from satisfactory. Shepard drew 'real' animals, whereas his prede-
cessors had drawn anthropomorphic ones. Grahame was delight-
ed with Shepard's interpretation and, a few years later, the artist was
called upon by the publishers, METHUEN, to provide eight colour
plates for a special edition of the book, complementing his earlier
evocative black and white line art which had preceded them.
As a treat, here are those eight colour pages - plus a copy of a
letter from THEODORE ROOSEVELT which, though written
22 years before E.H. Shepard's drawings were commissioned and
became such an indispensable part of the text, reveals that even
presidents were not immune to the charms of Kenneth