Folio Society “Cherished Tales” | Limited Editions Series | Beautiful Books

Folio Society “Cherished Tales” | Limited Editions Series | Beautiful Books


Hello and welcome to this video on the Folio
Society’s limited edition series of Cherished Tales. So far six have been released in this
series and I’ll be covering four in depth. The first to be released in this series was
the limited edition of the classic children’s story Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk in 2008. Three years prior to this, a non-limited edition
had been released and you can see in the picture the size difference as I have the standard
folio books on either side of the limited editions. The first I heard about the new Wind in the
Willows was a delightful letter I received in the mail addressed to folio society members
and signed by Toad, Esq. In the letter, Toad explains how he believes that for the 100th
anniversary, a special lavish Birthday Edition should be produced, and he has invited Mr
van Sandwyk to stay with him at Toad Hall to work on further illustrations. It’s absolutely
charming. The limited centenary edition itself is spectacular,
and no expense was spared by the Folio Society to make this the most enchanting edition possible. It is presented in cloth-bound solander box
– wait – is that cat fur on my expensive book? The spine is blocked in 22-carat gold, with
vellum tips and paper sides blocked in three shades of metallic foil. The letterpress endpapers show an architectural
plan of Toad Hall. The book is hand bound in quarter vellum,
limited to 1,000 copies and each book contains a limitation spread with a signed, hand-printed
etching. The calligraphy was printed letterpress by the Logan Press. The layout was completely redesigned to allow
for forty new pen and ink illustrations and two new colour plates. The 16 colour plates
are all tipped in by hand, with gold edges and exquisite gold borders. There are new
chapter heads and tails, as well as charming hand-drawn captions. 2009 saw the next volume in this series released
in the bicentenary of the birth of Edward Fitzgerald, being the poetic quatrains of
his Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Common design features we see in the series
are again a vellum quarter-binding, spine blocked in 22-carat gold, vellum tips, and
front board blocked in three metallic shades with a design by the artist. The endpapers are letterpress, and in this
case the book was printed on Hello Matt art paper by Beacon Press. There is a handprinted etching, and several
delightful hand-drawn sketches along with 16 exquisite colour plates by the artist Niroot
Puttapipat. It includes the original introduction and notes by Edward FitzGerald, as well an
introduction by A. S. Byatt. Each quatrain is a meditation on the fleeting
nature of life. The quatrains are set in 24 point Caslon, with a gilded top edge and ribbon
marker. Niroot’s illustrations are what makes this
volume special – his pictures are beautifully detailed and rich in texture, capturing the
opulence of the poem. They are filled with the rich lapis blue and gold decoration that
is such a feature of Eastern art. However, at 220 pages long, you definitely
notice that there are a great many blank pages included in the design of the limited edition.
A standard edition was released the following year, which is quite similar in content, but
a different layout. In 2010, the Folio society released the Rime
of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, illustrated by Harry Brockway with 16 colour
plates. This volume has also been released in a standard edition. This was followed by Gulliver’s Travels
by Jonathan Swift in 2011, with 17 tipped in colour plates by Peter Suart. And then in 2012, Just So Stories by Rudyard
Kipling was released. This features 14 tipped-in colour illustrations and numerous embedded
line drawings by Niroot Puttapiat. Another delightful piece of ephemera for this
edition was a collection of reviews by the animals from the stories. The most recent edition to be released is
Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk. This book
won the Book of the Year Award in 2016. It features 11 tipped in colour plates and
9 ‘paper scraps’. The scraps are small tipped in illustrations, printed on art paper
and individually placed in the book. They hark back to the Victorian pastime of pasting
small cut-out pictures into albums, or ‘scrapbooks’. Each chapter features hand-drawn initials,
all different and intertwined with motifs from the chapter in question. There are an
additional 50 embedded line-drawings printed in black and gold ink on Ambassador Cream
twin wire laid paper. Alice is famous for its linguistic jokes and
this sense of fun is reflected in the illustrations and typography. Good lord, this video was really long. Did
anybody actually watched through the end? If so, you’re a champion! Thanks so much for
watching. ‘Til next time!

9 thoughts on “Folio Society “Cherished Tales” | Limited Editions Series | Beautiful Books

  1. Amazing. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing. And by the way, we all know that cats tread wherever they choose!

  2. Such a well done review of these treasures. You really have a way with producing a brilliant review, really does justice to these beautiful books. If you're ever loooking for anyone to inherit your treasured collection…I'm available 😀

  3. Wonderful books and artists, they'd all be part of my dream library. 🙂 It's really nice to have this overview, all of them together in one video, thank you for your efforts!

  4. This channel has been such a pleasure to find. Thank you for sharing your passion for these books. I am 30 and have only recently learned of the beauty of folio society binding. I will be buying Wind in the Willows soon. And a copy of Alice in Wonderland for a friend.

  5. Will you be reviewing the recent Limited Edition release of Hansel & Gretel & Other Stories by Folio Society?

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