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April 2002

We mourn the passing of:
Harry Wingfield, illustrator more than 65 Ladybird books, who has died at the age of 91. Children who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's will remember with fondness Peter and Jane from the Key Words Reading Scheme. The first Peter and Jane books were published in 1959 and are still in print having sold 85 million copies to date. Wingfield retired in 1980 having produced around 600 pictures which are now collectable items in their own right.

Radio 4's Book Club (first Sunday of every month) features for April Kazuo Ishiguro, in discussion with James Naughtie about his Booker prize-winning novel (1989) Remains of the Day (the only modern novel known to have been read by the Queen). Transmission is due at 4.00pm on Sunday, 7th April, repeated the following Thursday also at 4.00pm.

Radio 4's Book of the Week for the first week of April is a special selection of five of Richmal Crompton's 'William' stories new to radio, read by Martin Jarvis, so prepare for a surge of interest. Scheduled on FM only at 9.45am Monday-Friday, they are repeated the following morning at 12.30am.

from Stella and Rose's Books of Tintern and Hay-on-Wye

New Naturalist Books

'Sensual and Alluring'.......Natural History Books?

.....absolutely true, when it's a New Naturalist!

Look at a collection of New Naturalists in their beautiful dust wrappers; touch the green buckram bindings, the top quality paper. Savour the visual and tactile sensations. Sensual and alluring - absolutely!

The New Naturalist Library is a series of about one hundred books first issued in Great Britain by William Collins in 1945 and continuing into the 1990's with it's peak in the 50's and 60's.

The series covers every aspect of British Natural History from Moles to Measles.

Clifford and Rosemary Ellis painted most of the dustwrappers. The series is worth acquiring simply for these works of art.

From the subtlety of the Swallowtails for Butterflies (the first title published in 1945) to the dramatic and terrifying mole for the monograph The Mole.

The original aim was:
"To interest the general reader in the wild life of Britain by recapturing the inquiring spirit of the old naturalists."

They are not science for the masses and though enjoyable are not light reading being scientifically accurate and detailed. Indeed many became standard reference works in their field. Persist and your efforts are rewarded, magnificent colour plates and a real insight into the subject. In most cases the information is still valid with some notable exceptions; Man and The Land is a little outdated in it's views on the origins of landscape.

Environmentalism was barely a familiar word when Nature Conservation in Britain was published in 1969.

Looking back the series can now be viewed to have been produced in five broad areas:

Regions, Habitats, Animal and Plant Groups, Specials and Monographs on single species.

Regions includes The Broads (1965) and Snowdonia (1966)

Habitats includes Mountains and Moorlands (1950) and Hedges (1974)

Animal and plant groups includes Wild Orchids (1951) and Ants (1953)

Specials include The Art of Botanical Illustration (1950) and An Angler's Entomology (1952)

Monographs range from The Badger (1948) to The Trout (1967)

There is perhaps a slight bias towards Birds in the 100 titles but every aspect of the Natural History of Great Britain is covered so not only are your visual and tactile sensations stimulated your brain is as well.


One of our members, Chris Tomaszewski of Stella Books participated in the national Radio 4 programme Shoptalk last month. The subject under discussion was customers' attitudes towards second-hand goods and how they had changed over the years particularly since the advent of buying via the Internet. She was invited to speak about collectable second-hand books and selling on the Internet. Cheltenham Literary Festival takes place April 5-7th. Talks and discussions with authors and critics including William Boyd, Margaret Thatcher, Sue MacGregor, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Marina Warner and Carole Angier.
The judging panel for the 2002 Booker Prize has been announced as: Professor Lisa Jardine - Chairman, David Baddiel, Russell Celyn Jones, Salley Vickers and Erica Wagner. The shortlist of titles will be announced in September and the prize will be awarded late October 2002.
In May 2002 we will be presenting an illustrated article submitted by Books and Bygones of Reading on books about cookery.

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