Posted by Owen Roberts on September 26, 2016 at 16:15:40 user OwenRoberts.
In Reply to: Re: where to enjoy AR posted by Patrick Fox on September 26, 2016 at 01:55:26:
I first read the S&A series from a new top floor flat (we didn't have penthouses in those days) between Clapham & Streatham. Viewed from the terrace there was an interesting view of bombed out buildings to the rear.
The terrace was surrounded by a very low parapet wall about 18 inches high with no handrails. I could take a deck chair out there to read. However I used to become alarmed when our tabby cat (a grown up Sinbad) used to patrol the parapet wall.
In those days, books I had not been given were sourced from the Clapham Public Library.
I have reread the books many times over the years, gradually collecting more varieties. I have realised that the illustrations do affect the atmosphere of the books. I wonder if I would have read them all, if they had been illustrated by Stephen Spurrier or Clifford Webb.
Spurrier had a more “Water Babies” approach to the illustrations whilst Webb seemed to draw vertically rather than horizontally and lost the serenity and space of the AR drawings.
Helene Carter who illustrated most of the early US books in the AR series, for Lippincott the publishers, seemed to capture the spirit of the books well. Her endpapers, usually included in the dust jackets were very good and in my view excelled those of AR. Stephen Spurrier’s endpapers still adorn S&A – I wonder why they were never replaced?
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