The Best of All Possible Worlds
17 June - 8 October 2017
Sir Quentin Blake (b. 1932) read English at Downing College between 1953 and 1956. His drawings first appeared in Punch when he was sixteen and he illustrated two editions of the student magazine Granta while at Cambridge University. In 1960, he illustrated A Drink of Water by John Yeoman, thereby starting a career in children’s book illustration for which he is best known, having illustrated beloved titles by Roald Dahl, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo and others.
Despite his special affinity for children’s books – he was the inaugural Children’s Laureate from 1999-2001 – Sir Quentin has illustrated over 300 books for children and adults and created works of public art, most notably in healthcare settings in the UK and France. His association with The Folio Society began with the centenary edition of The Hunting of the Snark (1976) and the illustrations on display are from his four most recent collaborations; Candide (2011), Fifty Fables of La Fontaine (2013), The Golden Ass (2015) and Riddley Walker (2017). From the ribald and piquant to the serious and disturbing, these four titles showcase just a few of the genres and themes in Sir Quentin’s formidable oeuvre.
About The Folio Society
Founded in London in 1947, The Folio Society publishes special editions of the world’s finest literature in a form worthy of their contents. For nearly 70 years they have celebrated the pleasure to be derived from books which are imaginatively illustrated, beautifully designed, and printed and bound to the highest standards.
Folio Society books encompass a wide variety of genres, from history and biography to poetry and fiction from all eras. Every book is conceived as a work of art in its own right – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single title.
Wednesdays 12pm-8pm · Fridays 12pm-5pm
Saturdays 10am-6pm · Sundays 12pm-5pm
Published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition, the fully illustrated catalogue of The Best of All Possible Worlds will contain texts by Sir Quentin Blake, publisher Joe Whitlock Blundell, and classicist Dr Paul Millett.