The Wood Engravings of Gwen Raverat. Selected with an Introduction by Reynolds Stone.

London, The University Press, Cambridge for Faber and Faber, 1959.

4to, pp. 136; wood-engraved frontispiece and wood-engraved illustrations by Gwen Raverat after Gwen and Jacques Raverat (some from magnesium blocks ‘made for this edition’); a few light spots; original charcoal buckram, spine lettered in gilt on green panel and with publisher’s name in gilt, dustwrapper reproducing wood-engravings by Raverat, retaining price; offsetting on free endpapers, corners very lightly rubbed, dustwrapper slightly creased and torn at edges, nonetheless a very good, bright copy.


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First edition. This was the first catalogue of the wood-engravings of Raverat (1885-1957) to be published, and the works were selected and edited by the distinguished wood-engraver Reynolds Stone (1909-1979), who later wrote of her that, ‘Everything that Gwen Raverat undertook was done with intelligence and skill – her graphic work for the Admiralty in the Second World War, as well as her theatre designs and paintings and drawings – but it was through wood-engraving that she was able to communicate her vision most fully. In her engraving she did not aim at decoration or use a strong decorative line, like her friend Eric Gill; nor was she a naturalist interested in the rendering of a bird's plumage or an animal's fur, like Thomas Bewick. Rather, she was a master of light, shade, and the interplay of textures, with a deceptively simple technique, and a bold sense of design’ (ODNB). The volume reproduces both individual engravings and suites of images for the books that Raverat illustrated for the Ashendene Press and other publishers.

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