International Women’s Day: A celebration of women in literature

This International Women’s Day we’re shining a literary light on some of our fantastic female authors and illustrators. From classic and contemporary fiction to ancient and natural history, here’s a selection of Folio books that are both written and illustrated by women.


Arabella by Georgette Heyer  




‘He soon discovered that what Arabella lacked in inches she more than made up for in spirit. She tore his character to shreds and warned him of his ultimate fate.’

Georgette Heyer’s witty Regency Romances pushed female protagonists to the forefront of their own stories and Arabella is a force to be reckoned with. Illustrated by Sally Dunne, our edition also includes a beautiful binding design by lettering artist Jessica Hische.

Illustration by Sally Dunne



Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston  



Illustrated by Diana Ejaita


‘There is no book more important to me than this one. It speaks to me as no novel, past or present, has ever done.’ Alice Walker

First published in 1937, Zora Neale Hurston’s important novel remained largely under the literary radar until it was reissued in the 1970s. It went on to become a classic of the Harlem Renaissance and one of the most influential African-American novels of the 20th century. Our edition includes artwork by illustrator and textile designer Diana Ejaita and an introduction by Zadie Smith.



The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 




‘Shirley Jackson is one of those highly idiosyncratic, inimitable writers ... whose work exerts an enduring spell.’ Joyce Carol Oates

Still considered by many to be one of the most frightening books ever written, this chilling tale influenced the genre for generations to come. Shirley Jackson was one of the great American Gothic writers and her work is paired here with that of mixed-media artist Angie Hoffmeister.

Illustrated by Angie Hoffmeister



Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel  



Illustration by Igor & Marina


‘At New Year's he had given Anne a present of silver forks with handles of rock crystal. He hopes she will use them to eat with, not to stick in people.’

Hilary Mantel raised historical fiction to new heights with her audacious Booker Prize-Winning Wolf Hall. Such an epic retelling required exceptional bookmaking and this is surely the most beautifully crafted edition, with exquisite drawings by celebrated fine artists Igor & Marina.



Byzantium by Judith Herrin 




‘Judith Herrin can work her way into the mind of Byzantium.’ Guardian

Professor Judith Herrin is one of the most important historians of Byzantium and her magnificent introduction to the 1,000-year empire features many powerful Byzantine women, from empresses to scholars.



 Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones 



Illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel


’As a girl, Sophie would have shrivelled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.‘

Diana Wynne Jones was one of the best-loved and renowned children’s writers of recent times. Howl’s Moving Castle brings together Wynne Jones’ magical text and Marie-Alice Harel’s fairy tale-inspired illustrations. Harel was our 2019 Book Illustration Competition winner and has gone on to illustrate the other books in the best-selling ‘Moving Castle’ series.



The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd  




‘One of the most brilliant works of modern landscape literature.‘ Robert Macfarlane, from his introduction

Rose Strang’s evocative paintings so perfectly complement Nan Shepherd’s poetic narrative that it’s as if they were always meant to be presented together. A powerful and timeless ode to the Cairngorm mountains, Shepherd’s vivid descriptions provide a tonic for hectic living.

Illustration by Rose Strang