Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Twelve Dancing Princesses illustrated by Sheila Robinson

The Centre for Children's Book Studies (CCBS) at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge has published an old but new edition of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Sheila Robinson. I'll let the description and press release explain.

Book description from seller site:

First published edition of the Brothers Grimm's 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses', designed and illustrated by Sheila Robinson.

The edition of the Brothers Grimm's The Twelve Dancing Princesses, beautifully designed and illustrated by Sheila Robinson in the late 1940s, has never been published before, the original having lived in the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden for a number of years since being donated by Robinson’s daughter, the artist Chloe Cheese.

The original book is in the form of a single completed, hand-made, hand-bound edition, created to the exact format of the Picture Puffin series, alternating between colour and black and white spreads. This first published edition incorporates a wraparound dust jacket showing examples of the preparatory drawings Robinson produced for the book, along with a short essay by Professor Martin Salisbury and afterword from Chloe Cheese.

In publishing the edition, the Centre for Children's Book Studies worked with leading London design company Webb & Webb to correct minor errors in spelling and grammar in the original hand rendered text and to 'clean up' some of the evidence of ageing in the original without losing the integrity of the original. All proceeds from sales will be used further research publications.

You can also read more about it at the book's press release, Dancing Princesses finally take centre stage:

From daughter Chloe:

"The beautiful pen and ink drawings and delicate text of this book fascinated me when I was a child and drew me into the enchanted world of the fairy tale.

"Although she hoped for publication at the time, she was still a young woman and I think other things, such as working on The Festival of Britain, marrying and having children, took over her life so that this book was put to one side.

"The princesses in the boats rowing across the lake in particular is an image that fired my imagination and inspired me to emulate my mother to become an illustrator myself. Looking at this illustration now I admire the lightness of touch and the use of light and shade. The picture still takes me to the edge of the lake and into the story."

You may see larger images on the Projects and Research page.

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