Heron Edition Illustrations

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ianjarvis
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Heron Edition Illustrations

Post by ianjarvis » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 16:20:01

I was looking through the illustrations in the Heron editions of The Devil Rides Out, and The Haunting of Toby Jugg, by Ian Miller and David Hollinshead. Does anyone know if the pictures in the other novels are equally appalling and who the hell okayed them, especially Toby Jugg? Bearing in mind that Wheatley was a big seller in the early seventies when these editions appeared, you'd have thought Heron would have commissioned something at least half decent. What did Wheatley think of these illustrations?

Steve Whatley
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Post by Steve Whatley » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 23:28:57

I am absolutely certain that the quality (or lack of it) of the illustrations in the Heron edition has been discussed in the Library before, but I'm afraid I've been unable to find the posts, so can't refer you to them. However, I'm sure someone else will manage to locate them.

From memory, I think opinions were divided.

My own view is that, whilst there were some striking illustrations amongst the 48 (?) volumes, the vast majority were - as you say - appalling. Many of them look to me like the work of some drug-crazed art school drop-out. Given the rather nice overall appearance of the books, one might have thought that more care would have been taken with the illustrations.

When reading the Heron editions, I always considered the illustrations to be an unnecessary and unwelcome additon to the titles; after all, they weren't part of the original editions of the works. But thinking about them now, if they had been done well, they would have provided a welcome extension to the existing Wheatleyana.

Alas, we can only guess what DW thought of these illustrations. (Unless anyone knows otherwise...) [font=Courier New] [/font]

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Post by Jim » Sun 29 Mar, 2015 02:26:40

I have numerous Heron volumes, a dozen by DW alone. In general, the illustrations are not very good and some, as noted, are just plain bad. (Among the other authors on my shelves in Heron editions are Agatha Christie, John Galsworthy, Edgar Wallace, Alistair MacLean, and "The Great Masterpieces of Russian Literature".) The one Ian Fleming title I have is illustrated with film stills and photographs, while the Simenons seem to have no art except the frontispiece photo of the author. The Dickens books use original period works by Cruikshank and the like--but they had pictures on their first publication--and my Don Quixote has the Doré illustrations. I would expect that DW had no more input into this than he did into the paperback covers. At least there's never more than two or three per book!

ianjarvis
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Post by ianjarvis » Sun 29 Mar, 2015 09:09:41

I was thinking how good they would have looked if the pictures were by someone like Sidney Paget, who famously illustrated the Sherlock Holmes books. Take a look at his Reichenbach Falls picture and imagine how he might have captured some of the Wheatley scenes. Someone like Paget would have elevated these editions to a legendary status. Many of the Wheatley book covers were quite atmospheric, with muted lights shining from ruined abbeys - couldn't Heron have commissioned something like this instead of those unbelievably awful things that, as you say, seem to have been done by a drug-crazed art school drop out (although, I don't think they ever attended art school). The first illustrations I ever saw were in the Devil Rides Out and I assumed the publisher had allowed his little nephew to do them as a favour.
By the way, Jim, is the Ian Fleming book a 007? I remember, as the Bond films appeared, the publishers would use the posters as their paperback covers. As the films only followed the books for the first four, I can't imagine what readers thought when they read something like Diamonds Are Forever and then sat scratching their heads at the exploding oil rigs and moon buggies on the cover.

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Post by Jim » Sun 29 Mar, 2015 13:35:04

ianjarvis wrote: By the way, Jim, is the Ian Fleming book a 007? I remember, as the Bond films appeared, the publishers would use the posters as their paperback covers. As the films only followed the books for the first four, I can't imagine what readers thought when they read something like Diamonds Are Forever and then sat scratching their heads at the exploding oil rigs and moon buggies on the cover.
It is the only French-language Bond in my collection, James Bond contre Dr No. You probably know that, in the 1970's even the publishers realized that the 007 films had little relationship to the Fleming books--and thus we got the novelizations James Bond, the Spy Who Loved Me and James Bond and Moonraker by Christopher Wood, who had done those screenplays. Many of the succeeding films were also adapted into new print versions. I have not yet read Alison Sage's "Fleshcreepers" version of The Devil Rides Out, but I wonder if that's closer to the 1968 Hammer film than to the original 1934 book.

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Post by Charles » Sun 29 Mar, 2015 22:23:48

Jim : I have not yet read Alison Sage's "Fleshcreepers" version of The Devil Rides Out, but I wonder if that's closer to the 1968 Hammer film than to the original 1934 book.

Jim, my advice is simple, with apologies to Alison Sage, who 'retold it'.

Don't !

You won't enjoy it if you're anything like me ... stick to the original, which is beyond improvement !

Best as always !
Charles

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Post by shanedwyer » Tue 31 Mar, 2015 12:45:18

The illustrations for the Heron To the Devil a Daughter are truly awful: Ugly, technically incompetent and daft.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun 12 Apr, 2015 16:25:23

Steve Whatley wrote: My own view is that, whilst there were some striking illustrations amongst the 48 (?) volumes, the vast majority were - as you say - appalling. Many of them look to me like the work of some drug-crazed art school drop-out. Given the rather nice overall appearance of the books, one might have thought that more care would have been taken with the illustrations.
Perhaps I will not complain any more about the Robert Graham covers on the Lymington editions... :rofl

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Post by ericmocata » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 21:01:55

I don't have any of the Heron editions, so I can't really comment on the illustrations they included. I have always wondered, however, what these books were bound in. It is my understanding that it is a "leather-like" material. What exactly is that? Is this some of that "Corinthian Leather" that was rather popular back in the '70s? I know what it is-- it's "genuine faux leather"!

Since we are talking about these volumes, for those of you that have them, has anybody noticed any textual variances from earlier printings? That seems to be par for the course with any of the newer printings of Wheatley's books, which I find a bit annoying. I want to read Wheatley's words, not somebody's sanitized rewording of them.

Related to the changes in text, I remember reading on here a long time ago that To the Devil a Daughter is usually not printed in its original form in the reprints. I do have a 1st edition and a paperback or two of this one, but are there specific editions/text changes anybody knows of offhand? I would be curious to see what the differences are.

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