Sunday, February 3, 2013
Drawing on the Past #10: GILBERT JAMES
(Edward Arnold & Co., 1922)
Artist: Gilbert James
The Five Jars is subtitled "Being More or Less of a Fairy Tale Contained in a Letter to a Young Person." Its author M.R. James is better known as a writer of ghost stories for adults. Whether or not the story is truly intended for young people is a matter of opinion. The whimsical drawings by Gilbert James seem to imply that it is. A mix of the fanciful, the creepy, and the bizarre the story would appeal to any reader who appreciates the outre and the supernatural in fiction.
Once available only in its original rare 1st edition or the somewhat scarcer 1927 reprint (a copy of which I own and is pictured above) The Five Jars has been extensively reprinted in a variety of hardback and paperback editions. Numerous POD and eBooks make it even easier for anyone interested in reading the light and fanciful tale.
Below a sampling of the seven illustrations by James. I found little on the artist other than that he illustrated in full color an edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (L. C. Page, 1899).
Click to enlarge any of the pictures below for better viewing.