I wrote about this classic tale a couple of years ago (BfK 225), praising it as an early example of an English fantasy story, good for reading aloud. I didn’t mention a number of illustrative treatments that it had received after the notable ones in the first edition by Dicky Doyle but the only one that measured up to the demands of the story was a classy set of drawings by Charles Stewart, published as long ago as 1958. Now it has attracted the attention of Sir Quentin Blake who has illuminated the text with some thirty-two colour drawings, including a stunning extra on the front cover. He notes in a Foreword his admiration for Doyle (whose line drawings were variably successful in the 1851 edition) but offers instead glowing colour throughout. The pictures are shaped to knit into the drama of the story, displaying anything from a tiny vignette of the King on his first appearance to mountainscapes crossing the gutter between pages and full-page dramas of weather as the heavens display their anger at Gluck’s two errant brothers. Scenes, characters, gesture all match the pace of events and the eucatastrophe of the restoration of prosperity to the Golden Valley is matched by one of those joyous scenes of happiness of which Blake is a master.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Ellie http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Ellie2019-05-01 12:09:222021-03-22 12:12:06The King of the Golden River
Illustrator: Quentin Blake