Special Days

Collaborating for over a hundred years: reading Twelfth Night with Eric Ravilious Illustrations

In continued celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, teamed with excited anticipation for our forthcoming reprint, Eric Ravilious: Memoirs of an Artistwhich is due for publication at the end of June- we have found this delightful title courtesy of The Golden Cockerel Press (1920-1961) that we couldn’t wait to share with you!

Shakespeare and Eric Ravilious

Published in 1932, this decorative version of Twelfth Night works with both a Shakespearean favourite and a leader in illustration, alongside one of the leading English artists of the inter-war period. This particular copy is one of 275 limited edition books, which typically fetch around around £2,990 today, featuring around thirty wood engravings by Eric Ravilious, printed in brown, grey and green ink.


According to The Golden Cockerel Press, the book is one of the ‘greatest aesthetic successes and the finest flowering of Ravilious’ engraved book illustrations’. It certainly succeeded in providing a detailed illustrative companion to  one of Shakespeare’s most lyrical comedies, enhancing the entertainment of Shakespeare’s text in line with the close of the Christmas season. Twelfth Night is thought to have been originally published in around 1623 as part of Shakespeare’s the First Folio.

With commemorative Shakespearean events and Renaissance merryment taking place up and down the country this year, we have been very fortunate in celebrating the release of our own collaborative title,  with Professor Jem Bloomfield’s new book Words of Power: Reading Shakespeare and the Bible.

Words of Power: Reading Shakespeare and the Bible by Jem Bloomfield

In Words of Power we find a lively and thought-provoking study of two major icons of Anglophone culture – the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare – exploring how successive generations have dealt with common issues of canonicity, interpretation and appropriation, with academics such as Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer in Renaissance Literature, University of Oxford calling it ‘Engagingly written and full of surprising insights.’ ‘Bloomfield takes concepts from biblical scholarship and fruitfully explores how they can be used to challenge preconceptions about the way that both Shakespeare and the Bible should be read.’

Likewise, at the end of next month, we look forward to revisiting the work of  Eric Ravilious in Eric Ravilious: Memoir of an Artist, with a title lavishly illustrated with examples of work from his student days along with powerfully realised drawings and paintings as an Official War Artist.

Eric Ravilious RP 9780718829209.jpg
‘Eric Ravilious: Memoir of an Artist’ by Helen Binyon


For more information, extracts and to pre-order Eric Ravilious: Memoir of an Artist:  http://tinyurl.com/gsmkpc8

The book launch for Words of Power: Reading Shakespeare and the Bible will take place this Thursday at Blackwell’s, University of Nottingham Portland Building, NG11 8NS. We hope to see you there!


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