Language and Literature Books

Bettley, James (ed): The Art of the Book from Medieval Manuscript to Graphic Novel (11422)

V & A Publications 1st 2001
4to, min bmps to bds, v v min crsing to d/w edges o/w VG++/VG++ 1160 gms
(Order reference 11422).

Illuminated manuscripts, comics, fine bindings, the classics of children's literature, artists' books and their working documents - these are just some of the remarkable items to be found in the National Art Library at the V&A. This fascinating and attractive volume explores the ways in which books represent art and literature, and how the marriage of word and image can create a work of art in its own right.

In a series of thematic chapters, the authors draw on their wide-ranging expertise to look at the Library's major holdings, and in the process illustrate the main aspects of book design and production over the centuries. With medieval books of hours sitting alongside contemporary paperback novels, the choice is wonderfully varied, from Leonardo da Vinci to Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Joan of Arc to Judge Dredd, Aesop to Charles Dickens, and Babar the Elephant to Ian Fleming.

The superb colour plates, accompanied by a clear and informative text, superbly demonstrate the many facets of the art of bookmaking. This absorbing compendium, spanning six centuries, will be of interest to all those with a love of art, literary history and illustration.