Monday, 11 February 2013


My brother lent me this book on Saturday.  Entitled 'Follies' it is one of a series of guides produced for the motorist in the sixties, by 'National Benzole'.  Do they still have petrol stations?  Perhaps they were issued in competition to the famous 'Shell Guides' - who knows?  In any case 'Follies' was first published in 1963, edited by Sir Hugh Casson, and researched, written and illustrated by Paul Sharp, and published for National Benzole by Chatto and Windus.  Just the right size, perhaps, to nestle happily next to the tin of travel sweets in the glove compartment...

The illustrations alternate between line and colour.  I think the latter are more successful.  As you can see they have a lithographic quality that is rather attractive.  I particularily like the narrow colour palette. They also show the influence of John Piper, which for me is seldom a bad thing.  (In a the notes at the end of the book - first mention of the artist at all, por chap - it states that 'the colour drawings were worked out as auto-lithographs.')

As I type this post I am listening to 'The Late Paul Barnes Show', broadcast orginally late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.  (Good old i-player)  It's one of the best, if somewhat eccentric, jazz programmes on British radio, and local radio too.  I recommended it.

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