Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories
A Golden Age gift book in facsimile for the first time. Kay Nielsen’s rarest work with his virtuoso blend of folk-tale drawing and Art Deco stylisation illustrating 22 of the best-loved tales by the Brothers Grimm
Full of hope yet suffused with cruelty, exuberantly highspirited yet unflinchingly violent: the tales of the Brothers Grimm have enthralled audiences of all ages across the world since their first appearance in the early 19th century – so much so that only the Bible and the Qur’an have been translated into more languages than the Grimms’ collection of German folklore.
With a cast of immortal characters, at once archetypal and distinctive – the petulant and mercenary imp Rumpelstiltskin, the naïve maiden Rapunzel and her evil adoptive mother, the movingly vulnerable figures of Hansel and Gretel, and countless others – inhabiting an enchanting world of shining palaces, castle prisons and dark forests, the tales provide an expansive and inspiring canvas for any illustrator. Nowhere has this been more emphatically demonstrated than in England, which through the 19th century and into the 20th witnessed an unprecedented flourishing in the art of book illustration.
Ever since their first publication in English, in 1823, the Grimms’ tales have fired the imagination of some of the most celebrated illustrators – from George Cruikshank’s upbeat vignettes to the sumptuous treatments of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, and the more ethereal fantasies of Kate Greenaway and Jessie M. King. Perhaps the most striking and enduringly attractive interpretation of the Grimms’ fairy stories, however, was produced by an artist inspired by these and a range of other, darker influences – Kay Nielsen, the last great master of the Golden Age of Illustration.
312 text pages set in Caslon type
Text printed on Caxton Wove paper
12 colour plates reproduced from a copy of the first edition, printed on Natural Evolution Ivory paper and tipped on to text pages along one edge, protected with Japanese tissue overlays
10 black-and-white images printed on Caxton Wove paper
Decorative initials in black and red
Endpapers printed in gold and orange inks
Gilded top edge
Bound in buckram, blocked in gold foil and screen printed in turquoise on front and spine with a design redrawn from a copy of the first edition
16 pages set in Caslon type
Printed on Abbey Wove paper
Thread sewn with a cover of Natural Evolution Ivory paper
Cover printed in gold and orange inks to match the endpapers
Printed title label on front
Bound in cloth specially made to match the turquoise on the binding
Blocked in gold on front and spine with images redrawn from a copy of the first edition