Charle Keeping https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Keeping was probably my favourite contemporary book illustrator. So, when, in the late 1970s, the Folio Society sought members’ recommendations for pairings of books and illustrators, there was only one possible submission for me.
In 1981 the first of the Dickens series was published. Derek Parker reviewed it thus
in The Times on 4th of June that year. This cutting is slipped inside The Pickwick Papers, which I am currently reading.
Normally I do not feature a book until I have finished it. In the case of this tome I might be some time. I will comment on the text when that time comes, but I have decided to take my readers on a ramble through Mr. Keeping’s signature line drawings as far as I have got.
Here is the frontispiece.
Such pagination as the overflowing layout allows will indicate the publisher’s generous proliferation of penmanship exuberantly deployed.
I have scanned full pages in order to display the artist’s scintillating gems bursting from the text.
Should there be sufficient interest I will present further pictures as I turn the pages of the book.
While I occupied myself preparing this post Jackie photographed a crab apple tree full of sparrows debating whether to trust a new feeder.
Strong winds and very heavy rain had beset us overnight and this morning.
Later, all was reasonably calm and we took a short drive into the afternoon sun.
Clear streams ran down the gutters on Holmsley Passage where
the crossing gate and scudding clouds were reflected in rippling pools.
Trees on the skyline stood against the lowering sun as it peered from behind the clouds;
a mud-caked pony nibbled at yellow gorse;
and the hide of chomping cattle was tinged with red outlines.
Sunset occurred as we returned by Holmsley Road. That, too, was reflected in waterlogged terrain.
This evening we dined with Elizabeth at Lal Quilla. I enjoyed Goan King Prawn; Elizabeth’s choice was Lamb Chana; and Jackie’s Chicken Sag. We shared mushroom and pilau rice, a plain paratha, and Tarka Dal. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher; Elizabeth chose Cobra. The welcome, food, and service were as good as ever.