DAHL, Roald; JAQUES, Faith (illus.)

Complete set of the original illustrations for Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

1972–73 Stock Code: 133005
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"Mr Dahl... I know it's fantasy but all the same I do like to have a bit of factual basis!"

The complete set of original artwork by Faith Jaques for Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, comprising all 60 published pen-and-ink drawings and the strikingly attractive wraparound colour cover design, extensively annotated by her, including queries for Roald Dahl. Faith Jaques (1923-1997) was commissioned to create new illustrations for the UK editions of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1968) and the sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1973); the two books were originally published in America with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman. Original artwork for Roald Dahl's books is rare, and most of Faith Jaques' artwork, including her original drawings for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is held by The National Centre for Children's Books in Gateshead. This is a fascinating, fully-annotated archive that reflects the painstaking working practices of one of Britain's finest illustrators.

All the illustrations are annotated by Jaques with the title of the image and projected page number in the book; all but one have a protective glassine flap, annotated with her instructions to the publishers in red biro regarding placement of the image with the text and instructions for the blockmakers. For the two-page illustration on pp. 88-9, Jaques notes: "Sorry I've had to cross the gutter. I tried to avoid it in first version of this but it doesn't do, it divides too much for the meaning. I know we'll lose bit in the middle but I think it's a case where we'll have to let the chips fall where they may". She has also included comments and questions for Roald Dahl. For example, on the rear of the illustration for the Space Hotel (printed on p. 19 in the book): "Mr Dahl... I didn't use your suggestion about a metal ring around the nose... So I got 2 books on space with marvellous drawings (all vetted by NASA) & took bits & pieces off 'projected orbiting workshops, manned by possibly 100 people, able to stay in orbit for one year'... I know it's fantasy but all the same I do like to have a bit of factual basis - and thousands of little boys know so much these days!". For the illustration of the medicine bottle on p. 99 she notes: "RD suggests this to replace text (ie label to be read from drawing)". For the illustration on p. 120 of the descending Glass Elevator, her annotation reflects her doubts about the drawing: "am not mad about this as I can't feel convinced it is going down. The whole passage is really unillustrateable in pen & ink & in vignette shape. If you want to drop it OK by me. If you use it you'll have to run text round it... ?" Evidently her concerns for the image were not shared by the publisher: the note has been struck through, and it appears in the book as a half-page illustration, just as she had drawn it.

Jaques also created a second cover design which was issued on the Puffin paperback edition, published in 1975, and her artwork for that design is included here, adapted from her illustration for pages 88-9. Jaques subsequently sent all her artwork to the French publisher Gallimard, who published Great Glass Elevator in French in 1978. Present here is the brown manila envelope in which Gallimard returned her artwork to her from the printers, annotated by Jaques in manuscript and reflecting her meticulous attention to detail ("Returned from Gallimard 20 June '79. All intact. Cover not used, in my possession. FJ"). Gallimard published Charlie et le grand ascenseur de verre with their own cover design.

Jaques "was one of the outstanding illustrators responsible for the renaissance of British picture books during the last three decades. Her special gift was an ability to translate the emotional tone of a text into the strong visual atmosphere created by her pen-and-ink drawings" (obituary in The Independent, 7 August 1997). An avid reader as a child, her distinctive style was influenced by the works of Charles Dickens's illustrators - she produced a version of David Copperfield in 1971 - and William Makepeace Thackeray's own drawings for his books. In her long and distinguished career, she illustrated over 100 books, including works by Allan Ahlberg, Nina Bawden, Ursula Moray Williams, E. Nesbit, Philippa Pearce, Arthur Ransome, and Margery Sharp.

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Together 51 items: cover illustration in ink, watercolour, pastels, and gouache for i) the 1973 hardback edition (310 x 500 mm), signed "Faith Jaques '72" lower left, and ii) the 1975 paperback edition (330 x 450 mm), unsigned; iii) 60 pen-and-ink drawings, heightened and corrected in white gouache, on 48 sheets, various sizes, three with abandoned drawings verso, all signed and dated in pencil "Faith Jaques 1972" or "Faith Jaques '72", titled and annotated by the artist, all but one sheet with protective glassine leaf attached with adhesive tape. Together with a brown manila envelope stamped "Haudressy Photogravure offset noir et couleur 175 rue de Tolbiae, 75013 Paris" and the address labels of Faith Jaques (4 Hill House, 21 Sion Road, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 5SQ). Housed together in a black archival box.


In excellent condition.


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