Fairy Tales for Christmas!

by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog

This volume by Arthur Rackham was recently retrieved for an archaeology seminar, but the images were just too seasonal to by-pass for the blog. Rackham has illustrated scenes from the fairy tale world. They convey a sense of joy and wonder, but not in a sanitized twee sense, many of these images are laced with the macabre and sinister. They consist of goblins, giants, elves, fairies and other grotesque and fantastic creatures, many of these stories are now familiar to us as Christmas Pantos.

Jack Jack and The Bean Stalk.

Arthur Rackham’s Book of Pictures (R141905) is held in the Alison Uttley Collection and is the 331st copy from a run of 1030. Rackham is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrations from the Golden Age of British book illustration, which encompassed 1900 until the start of the First World War.  Ian Rogerson discusses Rackham’s fairy tale illustrations in the newly published Riches of the…

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