Today: June 18, 2024

Book To Small Screen

This Autumn, The Folio Society releases 19 beautiful new volumes, from chill-inducing Horror Stories to timely editions of James Cook’s fascinating Journals and Max Hasting’s Bomber Command— both Cook and the RAF have anniversaries this year. 

Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand Of Darkness both get the Folio treatment with gift-volumes that are sure to appeal.

Brideshead, whose TV adaptation made overnight stars of Anthony Andrews and Jeramy Irons in the 1980s, is a bitter-sweet tale of a vanishing world. Chosen as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Novels, Brideshead is Waugh’s most popular book, combining a aching sympathy for the passing of privilege with the best of his razor-sharp wit. In the introduction to the volume, award-winning novelist A. N. Wilson writes of Waugh’s skill in crafting memorable characters and beautifully-crafted prose.

Above & below: The Folio Society edition of Brideshead Revisited illustrated by Harry Brockway.

To illustrate this new volume, Folio have worked with woodcut specialist Harry Brockway whose work will be well known to Folio readers, with recent commissions including the Maigret collection. Here, Harry has created six highly stylised scenes that take us straight back to the fashionable world of Brideshead and its characters’ devil-may-care lives. The cover art features an evocative portrait of Charles Ryder and Lord Sebastian on the front with a subtle motif of swirling cigarette smoke on the back. The book is quarter-bound in blocked cloth with printed Modigliani paper sides.

With the success of literary adaptations such as The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that The Left Hand of Darkness is also currently being developed for TV. We may have to wait until next year to find out more, but for those who like to be ahead of the curve when it comes to ‘the next big thing’ , this new edition is suitably filmic.

Above & below: The Folio Society edition of The Left Hand of Darkness illustrated by David Lupton.

The first ever illustrated version of this seminal tale, features art by David Lupton, who provided illustrations for the Folio edition of A Wizard Of Earthsea. Here he returns with a series of 14 sensitive and intimate black and white artworks. Each illustration is beautifully integrated into the text, in a series of double-page spreads that surprise and delight.  The author herself was closely involved in directing the look and feel of this edition, with the binding, slipcase and endpapers specially designed to invoke the icy atmosphere of Winter. 

Winter is a planet locked in a perpetual ice age, its people are androgynous, only taking on male or female sexual characteristics during ‘kemmer’, a monthly period of change and arousal. Struggling to understand the intricacies of a society where anyone could be both mother and father to multiple children, Genly Ai, a diplomat and envoy, finds himself alone and out of his depth in this incredible tale.

Described by Margaret Atwood as “one of the literary greats”and by Stephen King as “a literary icon”, Ursula K. Le Guin is that rarity: an author whose work and appeal crosses genre boundaries. Le Guin was the first woman to win a Hugo Award and The Left Hand of Darkness is both a towering work of speculative fiction and a intelligent and thoughtful look at the intricacies of society and gender. 

The Folio Society edition of Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, introduced by A.N. Wilson and illustrated by Harry Brockway, is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com

The Folio Society edition of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, introduced by Becky Chambers and illustrated by David Lupton is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com

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: writerpaula@icloud.com

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