The Illuminated Book of Days - Kay & Marshall LeeLondon: MacDonald & Jane's, 1979, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Price Clipped.
Includes: Top edge dyed Red; Black & white drawings; Colour drawings; Colour frontispiece;
From the cover: “This enchanting day-by-day tour of the year is highlighted with verses and traditional sayings, homely recipes, and esoteric and exotic facts; all lavishly illuminated with over 600 drawings and engravings, of which 350 are in full color.
Kate Greenaway’s beloved designs are scattered throughout the book like bright gems that richly complement the 12 full page colour plates by Eugene Grasset which introduce each new month. These, together with the charming Victorian engravings that accompany them, make browsing through The Illuminated Book of Days a continual joy.
The Illuminated Book of Days is more than a visual feast. It has 366 entries — one for each day of the year, including leap years. The nearly 800 wise, witty, curious, and useful items that make each day are a mine of information and amusement. Leafing through the pages one learns how to keep clothes from freezing on the line in winter (‘Mix one pint of salt with one pint of hot water, and rub this on the line’.), the patent date of the safety pin (1849), and that on publication day in 1865 Alice in Wonderland sold only 48 copies. Many of the days are accompanied by short verses appropriate to the season, commemorating an event or, in some cases, the feast day of a saint. And the book is full of homely advice such as: ‘hair clippings — from people or pets — put into holes where beans are planted provide trace minerals to nourish the soil’ and ‘the use of garlic against moles, grubs or snails’.
The Illuminated Book of Days accompanies the reader through the changing seasons like a beloved and charming companion. Handsomely produced and beautifully designed, it makes a perfect present which will be welcomed by those who are delighted by The Illuminated Language of Flowers published by Macdonald and Jane’s in 1978.
Kate Greenaway was one of the most popular illustrators in the world at the end of the nineteenth century and her fame and esteem have not diminished with time. Eugene Grasset was, with his contemporaries, Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, one of the men working during the belle epoque who raised poster design to a fine art.
Kay and Marshall Lee are both award-winning book designers, and are joint proprietors of the book producing firm, Balance House, in New York.”