As one of Britain's best-known and best-loved illustrators, Quentin Blake has provided Folio with a peerless body of work, gracing more than a dozen Folio editions, most recently our sold-out limited edition of Voltaire's Candide. We were thrilled to hear news that Quentin was to be knighted for his contribution to the art of book illustration in the Queen's New Year Honours List, so soon after he was presented with the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon award for his outstanding work in children's literature.
Quentin recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and Folio Production Director Joe Whitlock Blundell was invited to speak at the party, paying tribute to the artist he first met when he joined Folio in 1985. At that point, Quentin had already produced illustrations for five editions, the first being Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark in 1976. Joe was eager to commission him, and asked him what he would most like to work on. Quentin's surprising choice was a work by the 17th-century French writer (and famed literary wooer) Cyrano de Bergerac, Voyages to the Moon and the Sun - 'a sort of early science fiction - and I’d like to do it on one condition – I want there to be lots of illustrations.' In 1991 the edition appeared, with no fewer than 115 spirited illustrations.
Douglas Matthews, who has worked with us as an indexer for the last 12 years, has also been recognised, with an MBE, in the New Year Honours List. Douglas is long established as one of the finest indexers working in the UK today. His first commission for Folio was the final volume in the long-running Folio 'History of England' series, England 1945-2000. Since then he has worked on a vast range of titles and subjects for us, encompassing ancient and modern history, espionage, gardening, religion and science.