The goblin master

Arthur Rackham:
Masterpieces of Art

by Joseph Simas.
Flame Tree Publishing, 2015.

A treasured book in my childhood – unfortunately no longer in my possession – was The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book, a hardback first published in 1933 with “23 favourite tales” and a full-colour dust jacket labelled ‘Hop-o’-my-thumb went up to the Ogre softly and pulled off his seven-league boots.’

That selection of fairytales ranged from traditional English tales through Grimm, Perrault, Andersen, and even Washington Irving, to the Arabian Nights, and featured full-page colour illustrations by Rackham, with some black and white pen and ink vignettes and silhouettes peppered through the text.

Forever nostalgic for a missing childhood gem I therefore pounced on this art book when I spotted it in the library to help ease the ache of loss; and a delightful romp through the range of Rackham’s œuvre it certainly proved.

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