Apr 14 2012: Cover Images from Comic Versions of The Odyssey and The Iliad by Homer (Classics Illustrated, 1960s)

How far does the value of a literary work reside in language and specific medium, how far in the story and broader ideas it contains? The question’s raised here by reductions (to around 25 pages each) of the two great epic poems of Homer, with each comic book acting more as a kind of compressed … Continue reading

Mar 19 2012: Three Monochrome Photographs Featuring Minor Architectural Structures (Dates and Locations Unknown)

The thing that unites these three otherwise random photographs is that each, in its way, shows an architectural structure that would generally pass unnoticed as architecture: an architecture without architects, perhaps even a species of ‘outsider architecture’. The cinema here, for example, is not the kind of Deco construction that was as common for its … Continue reading

Mar 8 2012: Twenty-One Random Snapshots of Unknown Women (c.1910s – 1970s)

Since March 8th is designated International Womens’ Day by the Fawcett Society, it seems kind of appropriate to simply gather here a whole bunch of snapshots – ranging in date from the early twentieth century to the 1970s – united only by being portraits of women, either individually or in groups, in youth or age, … Continue reading

Feb 29 2012: Seven Book Cover Designs from Psychology and Education Reports (Pelican, 1961 – 1969)

I suppose, this being a leap year, that this small gallery of book cover designs from the 1960s Pelican non-fiction stable, amounts to a sort of ‘bonus post’ for the 365 days originally planned for this project: its presence means there’ll actually be 366 days of posts covered here instead. The images themselves cover a range … Continue reading

Feb 23 2012: Thirteen Abstract and Illustrated Dustjackets from Scientific Book Club Editions (1958 – 1962)

A large collection of these Scientific Book Club editions, dating from the later 1950s and early 1960s, appeared one Sunday morning at the Colwick car boot sale in Nottingham, and covered many more subjects than are represented here. The truth is, while the books were plentiful, some selection was necessary in order to carry those chosen … Continue reading

Feb 22 2012: Thirty-Eight Plates from How Things Work Magazine (Marshall Cavendish, 1982)

These are mainly library and archive photographs, all featured in How Things Work, an early 1980s part-work published by Marshall Cavendish in the UK to create a week by week encyclopaedia of (then) current and recent technological developments. In some respects it’s a publication that sits somewhere between the same company’s seventies home-making and DIY … Continue reading

Feb 13 2012: Altered Rhoda Campbell Chase Illustrations from Told By The Sandman by Abbie Phillips Walker (Harper & Brothers, 1916)

All but two of the images in this gallery are the work of Rhoda Campbell Chase, an American illustrator whose pictures are visible online, and whose publications appear in many lists of books for sale, but whose details seem to be unavailable. At any rate, she seems to have been active in the early years … Continue reading

Feb 10 2012: Twenty-Eight Diagrams, Radiographs and Illustrations from Surgery for Nurses by James Kemble (1949)

These are a very different set of illustrations to those made by Robert Ayton for Ladybird’s childrens’ introduction to the essentials of anatomy and the body’s workings, Your Body (1967), as featured here a week or two ago. These images are a few selections from a rather earlier and far grittier publication, Surgery for Nurses: A Text … Continue reading

Jan 5 2012: A View of Aspley Public Library, Nottingham (from The Childrens’ Encyclopedia, c.1950s)

This image, taken sometime during the 1950s at Aspley Public Library in Nottingham, is used in The Childrens’ Encyclopedia, published by Waverley, as an illustration of libraries in general, and its caption summarises the services they can provide: “The British public library service celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1950, and in England one out of … Continue reading

Oct 30 2011: Reader’s Diary (Brittle Star Magazine, May 2010)

Of the three addictions that have shaped my life, I can only remember with certainty where the least desirable of them began: with an Embassy filter-tip, one summer afternoon outside a corrugated iron shed in New Quay, mid-Wales, at the antique restoration workshop where I spent my teenage Saturdays working. With music, I can clearly … Continue reading