Fairy Tales from the British Isles retold by Amabel Williams-ellis ; illustrated by Pauline Diana Baynes
London : Blackie, 1962. Second printing. Hardcover. 344 pages ; illustrated ; 20 cm. Previous owner gift inscription on the back of the front pasted down. No other markings elsewhere in this book. Pages toned and binding is firm.
As the title of this book suggess, fairy tales representing all parts Of our islands are here retold ; some are old favourites and some will be new to most children.
Among those from England are cap 0' Rushes, The Three Sillies, Kate Crackernuts, and Childe Rowland. From Scotland come The Wee Wee Mannie and Finlay the Hunter, from Wales, The Lake Lady and A Mouse from the Mabinogian, and from Ireland, The King, the Saint and the Goose, and Clever Oonagh.
There are plenty of others to prove that, in our islands, we have a splendid store of traditional tales and legends. Both in quality and in number these can stand beside those gathered by the Brothers Grimm, Perrault, and others.
Amabel Williams-Ellis has always been especially interested in traditional fairy tales, and has shown, in the companion volumes, The Arabian Nights and Grimm's Fairy Tales, that she knows just how to retell them for the children of today. Each of these stories has been approved by a jury of children. Our native tales are her real favourites and she has made a varied and inspiriting selection.
Pauline Baynes, who illustrated this book of fairy tales, is an artist with great gifts of imagi nation, pictorial invention and technical skill.
Ideas come to her readily and are expressed in line drawings of incredibly fine detail and delicacy. First she makes a light pencil drawing to establish the composition and then works over it in ink with speed and certainty. There is no ' rough ' stage ; the subject is complete in her mind at the start. She is rarely satisfied with a result, however, and is apt to double her work by making alternative drawings of the same subject so that her publishers are hard put to it to make a choice ! Modesty is one of Pauline Baynes's most engaging characteristics as an artist and an individual.
She lived in the enchanted world of fairy tales for several months to do the illustrations for this book, just as she lived in the exotic atmosphere of the Orient when creating the pictures for another Blackie book, The Arabian Nights.
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