Sunday, August 22, 2021

A morning for marvels and magic

I can't believe I've never shared this fabulous and trippy Robin Jacques cover illustration for 1978's A Book of Marvels and Magic by Ruth Manning-Sanders. Jacques, who was in his late 50s when he did this illustration, clearly reveled in imagining and drawing all sorts of humans and oddball fantastic creatures. (But is it really that far-out, when you consider how folks in the United Kingdom were dressing in the 1970s, between the professionals and the punks?)

I'd love to read a book or watch an animated film featuring these two characters who are half-hiding on the cover.
Last night, I read the tale "The Hill Folk" from this book. It's from the North Frisian Islands, and its primary moral is "always be kind to animals," which I can get behind. The secondary moral is "never be dismissive of a gift, no matter your thoughts on its worth." Dear readers, if you ever find a fairy tale unfolding around you and a magical being gives you a gift in thanks, hold onto it.

To close, here's Robin Jacques' frontispiece from A Book of Marvels and Magic. If you ask me, I'd say it's his sly take on Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal.

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