Friday, August 08, 2008

R.I.P. Pauline Baynes

From The Independent:

"Met C.S. Lewis. Came home. Made rock cakes." That's how Baynes's diary recorded one of only two meetings she ever had with the author whose work she so memorably pictured and with whom she is now inextricably linked.

Read the rest here. Also, go here for a more personal account by the same writer, and lots of artwork scans.

I remember those old Puffin editions of the Narnia books with great fondness. I read -- and loved -- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as a child, with no knowledge of the rest of the series. And then one afternoon when I was exploring my grandmother's vast bookshelves, skimming through titles spine by spine, I found something that looked promising: a book called The Magician's Nephew. It was the Puffin paperback edition, with all of the Baynes illustrations intact. Just before diving into the story, I was floored to realize that not only was it another Narnia book, there were five more books in the series for me to find and devour. Ah, that was a great moment in my life. :)

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