The Art of Book Design: Beasts of the Field

William J. Long. Beasts of the Field. Illustrated by Charles Copeland. Boston and London, Ginn and company, 1901.

The book is filled with true stories of animal encounters in the wild and the accompanying illustrations are charming. Every page has at least one small drawing on it and there are several detailed full-page illustrations. You can see it all at the link below.

Via: The Internet Archive

The Art of Book Design: Mighty Mikko: Finnish Folk and Fairy Tales, Part1

Parker Fillmore. Mighty Mikko: Finnish Folk Tales and Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Jay Van Everen. New York : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922.

I’m overdue for highlighting Finnish Fairy Tales so our book this week contains a wealth of old Finnish folk stories translated for an English-speaking audience. Illustrator Jay Van Everen breathes life into the stories using graphic, modern drawings with geometric and abstract elements. There is only 1 colour plate in Mighty Mikko, but Van Everen was best known for his bright, colourful abstract paintings. Nonetheless, Van Everen’s black and white drawings for Mighty Mikko are bold and full of interest. The artist uses 2 different styles of illustration in the book – one for the first half of traditional tales and another for the second half of the book which contains the continuing saga of Mikko. Both styles are interesting and worth a good look so I’m going to break this post into 2 parts. Part 2 will be posted next Saturday.


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The Art of Book Design: Olga Romanov


Olga Romanoff or The Syren of the Skies. A Sequel to “The Angel of the Revolution.” George Griffith. London: Tower Publishing Company Limited, 1894. First edition, first issue.

This book is a futuristic science fiction story told in melodramatic Victorian prose. The story was originally serialized in Pearson’s Weekly of London.


Cover photo via: Books and Art

The book is available to read at Project Gutenberg Australia