Today: July 20, 2024

Folio’s Filmic Delights For Self-Isolation

There’s never been a better time to lose yourself in a good book, and this Spring The Folio Society is offering up a embarrassment of riches, from James Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me) to Anne Bronte (The Tennent of Wildfell Hall). Included in their latest must-have releases are two spectacular editions of two very different tales—both five star classics.

If you loved Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle, then you’ll adore the new Folio edition of Diana Wynne Jones’ heartwarming tale of magic, mischief, and love. 

Folio’s new editions both striking and utterly charming– celebrating the worlds of master storyteller Wynne Jones with lush artwork from 2019’s Book Illustration Competition winner, Marie-Alice Harel.

Deep in the land of Ingary, the wizard Howl’s castle hovers above the imaginary town of Market Chipping, terrorising the inhabitants below. Legend has it that the enigmatic wizard consumes the hearts of young girls but this doesn’t deter eighteen-year-old Sophie from hitching a ride in the castle…

Although adored by those familiar with Wynne Jones’s work, Howl’s Moving Castle remained largely under the radar until the book was adapted into an animation by the world-famous Studio Ghibli. Released in 2004, it broke global box office records and subsequently catapulted the novel to bestseller status. (Above & Below.) Illustration ©  Marie-Alice Hared from The Folio Society edition of Howl’s Moving Castle.

As the award-winning novelist Marcus Sedgwick discusses in his newly commissioned introduction, Wynne Jones draws on her childhood with wry references to modern life in suburban Wales and tantalising hints at her own history. 

“Howl’s Moving Castle is a wonderful creation. It’s full of life, it’s funny, it’s gleefully inventive, it’s wise about the ways of people, about love and jealousy and gender in general. This new edition is complemented by the illustrations of Marie-Alice Harel, which are just what the book is: weird, wise and wonderful. They reaffirm why Howl is simply a joy to read: a perfect example of how Wynne Jones achieved a new, successful marriage between the old stories and the new world, success due in very large part to her style, to her wit.”

Scottish resident Marie-Alice Harel’s exquisite artwork includes  six colour illustrations and over twenty black-and-white integrated decorations that offer clues to the story. Her eye-catching wraparound binding shows Sophie Hatter being magnetically drawn to the gloomy castle. Bound in printed and blocked Elephant Hide paper, with printed endpapers the volume also includes a gorgeous slipcase.

No less fantastical, but swapping humour for horror is Pierre Boulle’s iconic Planet Of The Apes. First published in 1963, Planet Of The Apes spawned a global franchise which included nine films, a TV series and numerous comics, video games, and spin-off novels. This stunning new edition from The Folio Society returns Pierre Boulle’s story to its literary roots with the definitive translation by Xan Fielding.

(Above.) Illustration ©2020 David de las Heras from The Folio Society edition of Planet of the Apes.

Set on the idyllic-looking planet of Soros, the story follows three astronauts who leave Earth in the year 2500. Initially ecstatic to find a lush biosphere with human inhabitants, Ulysse and his fellow travellers are shocked to discover that the pathetic human population is ruled by an intellectually superior civilisation of apes. The apes are cultured, educated and technologically advanced… yet they hunt humans for sport, subject them to scientific experiments and keep them in captivity.

(Left.) Illustration ©2020 David de las Heras from The Folio Society edition of Planet of the Apes.

Boulle’s sobering story is electrified by David de las Heras’ strikingly bold and dramatic artwork. This new edition includes a total of seven incredible illustrations, including two double-page spreads, that take the reader even further into Boulle’s dark narrative.

Beautifully quarter-bound in blocked cloth with printed paper sides and an attractive slipcase, with a gorilla in military attire on the binding, this is the ultimate edition of Pierre Boulle’s seminal classic.

The Folio Society edition of Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, translated by Xan Fielding, introduced by Frans de Waal and illustrated by David de las Heras, is available exclusively from

The Folio Society edition of Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones, introduced by Marcus Sedgwick and Illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel, is available exclusively from

Both books are priced £34.95. 


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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