Chungking Diary

Posted on 30-12-2015

By Robert Payne:

This is an account of one man’s experience in China during the years when it was cut off from the world.  With the fall of far eastern empires, the Chinese did not panic, they had other things to do and went on quietly doing their job.  It was the first time for 400 years that they had been cut off from the outside.

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Sepik Diary

Posted on 13-01-2014

Sepik Diary by Frank Hodgkinson. Richard Griffin Publisher, 1982. One of only 1500 books printed. Personal inscription by Hodgkinson to the original book owners. A rich handwritten account of a journey made by the artist in a dug-out canoe in Papua New Guinea in 1977. The text is accompanied by brilliant black and white and colour drawings of scenes along the river, its peoples and their customs and culture.

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Women of Flowers: A Tribute to Victorian Women Illustrators

Women of Flowers: A Tribute to Victorian Women Illustrators by Jack Kramer. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, 1996. A sumptuous book filled with glorious photographs by Eric Strachan of floral paintings and botanical prints by thirty remarkable Victorian women artists. The accompanying text tells the fascinating life stories of these women, most of whom received little or no recognition for their work at the time.

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Saul and David

Posted on 21-04-2013

Saul and David by Oskar Kokoschka. Thames and Hudson, London. 1973. Number 501 of a limited edition of 1000 numbered copies. A remarkable series of lithographs illustrates the story of the biblical figures of Saul, the first king of Israel, and David, his son-in-law. Not a historical retelling but a personal interpretation.

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The Aboriginal Children’s History of Australia

The Aboriginal Children’s History of Australia, written and illustrated by Australia’s Aboriginal children. Rigby 1977, with the assistance of the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council. Through beautiful paintings, poetry and stories, indigenous children of all ages tell their story of Australia – from the Dreamtime to modern day events.

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Graham Greene Country

Graham Greene Country, visited by Paul Hogarth. Foreword and commentary by Graham Greene. Pavilion Books Ltd in association with Michael Joseph Ltd, 1986. A remarkable collection of watercolours by Paul Hogarth depicting scenes from Greene’s works of fiction – from the decaying French-style mansions of old Saigon to the Palace Pier of Brighton, England. The illustrations are accompanied by Hogarth’s journal entries made at the time of visiting, excerpts from the novels and Greene’s own thoughts and recollections.

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Beaton in Vogue

Posted on 16-01-2013

Beaton in Vogue, by Josephine Ross. Thames and Hudson, London, 1986. 293 illustrations with 32 in colour. A very handsome book of articles, drawings and photographs by Cecil Beaton taken from British, American and French Vogue magazines from 1924 to 1980 and including his work for the magazine covering society, fashion, art, travel, the Royal Family, and stage and screen, and his work as an official war photographer during WW II.

Sunburnt Sketches of Africa South, East and West

Sunburnt Sketches of Africa South, East and West by Kent Cottrell. Central News Agency Ltd, South Africa. No date but probably early 1950s. A ‘faithful record in words and pictures’ of the author’s five-year travels on the African continent. A beautiful book filled with black-and-white and colour illustrations of African people and places, accompanied by the author’s commentary.

Monte Carlo – or bust!

Monte Carlo – or bust! By Jack Davies, Ken Annakin, Allen Andrews and Ronald Searle. Dennis Dobson, London, 1969. Based on the Paramount film of the same name and told from the point of view of the rally participants. Delightful commentary enlivened even further by Searle’s brilliant illustrations of people, cars and rally scenes.

Australian Legendary Tales

Posted on 21-12-2012

Australian Legendary Tales, collected by Mrs K Langloh Parker and introduced by Andrew Lang and Wandjuk Marika. Illustrated by Rex Backhaus-Smith. The Bodley Head in Australia, Sydney 1978

A re-issue in one volume of two important 19th century folk tale collections, Australian Legendary Tales and More Australian Legendary Tales, which first appeared in 1896 and 1898 respectively. The chapter heading illustrations were specially commissioned from the Queensland artist, Rex Backhaus-Smith.

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