A Book Of Spooks And Spectres

This being the second successive day of unrelenting rain I finished reading

published by Methuen Children’s Books Ltd in 1979, of which this is the book jacket.

Manning-Sanders introduces her collection of stories from all over the world by explaining the difference between Spooks who have always been ghostly beings with a king to rule over them and a country of their own; and “Spectres [who] on the other hand have not always been Spectres. They were once creatures of flesh and blood, generally human beings, who after death, find the gates of heaven and hell shut against them, and so must return to earth…” Spooks are generally happy beings, and spectres unhappy ones.

Each piece has been translated into lucid and clear prose in the author’s own language. “Ruth Manning-Sanders [1886-1988] was an English poet and author born in Wales, known for a series of children’s books for which she collected and related fairy tales worldwide. She published over 90 books in her lifetime” (Wikipedia)

Robin Jacques /ˈdʒeɪks/ (27 March 1920 – 18 March 1995) was a British illustratorwhose work was published in more than 100 novels and children’s books. He is notable for his long collaboration with Ruth Manning-Sanders, illustrating many of her collections of fairy tales from all over the world. In much of his work, Jacques employed the stippling technique. (Wikipedia)

Here are the drawings from this book.

I was clearly influenced by such illustrators when I produced the 1981 cover for the Queens Park Family Service Unit Annual Report, and the drawing of Auntie Gwen in 1985 for my Social Work Area Team magazine Age Lines

This evening we dined on Pepperoni Pizza and plentiful fresh salad with which I drank more of the Cahors.


    1. I certainly did. But I was odd like that. Always drawn to the macabre. My mum (Jackie) did seem to worry about that quirk of my personality. Hmmm.

  1. Wonderful illustrations, and your work is wonderful, too. I did not know the difference between spooks and spectres. Thanks for the illumination!

  2. I remember looking at that book when I was a kid. I was always drawn to spooky stuff.

  3. I didn’t know there was a difference between spooks and spectres. I must now look for a chance to use this knowledge. I’m off to look up ghouls and ghoulies now in an effort to improve my vocabulary. Looks like a great book.

  4. Ooh! This looks like a wonderful, intriguing book of stories! I enjoyed reading Mr. E. A. Poe when I was a kid, so I would’ve liked this Ruth Manning-Sanders book you share! 🙂
    Mr. Jacques’ illustrations are good!
    Mr. Knight’s illustrations are fabulous! I always loved your drawing of your Aunt Gwen! It reminds me of Mr. Al Hirschfeld’s drawings. Which I enjoy! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️❤️

  5. You have put taste in excellent illustrators to good use. Is the quality of the illustrations a prerequisite for any book you purchase?

    1. Not solely; but I did buy books for the illustrations. This was a case in point. Thanks very much, Pat

  6. Your illustrations are stellar, Derrick. Thank you for sharing your inspiration. I’m sorry to hear about the downpours. We’re equally fed up with the extreme heat. Is this an unusual amount of rain for July?

    1. Yes it is unusual, Alys. The result of a shift in the Jet Stream. Thank you very much

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. I’m afraid so – my hand is no longer steady enough 🙂

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