A fearless faith in fiction — Employing a Kantian or Jungian sensibility and an ‘intentional fallacy’ consciousness — Various passions of the reading moment — Walter de la Mare, ELizabeth BOWen, Robert Aickman and many others old and new — Please click my name below for this site’s navigation and my backstory as intermittent photographer, writer, editor, publisher & reviewer.
The Hauntings at Tankerton Park – by Reggie Oliver
This is a picture book of constructively old-fashioned drawings, often off-the-wall and haunting tableaux, led into letter by letter, passing TWICE through the alphabet, starting with “A was an armpit that loomed in the fog.” And ending with “Z is for Zadok, the Butler’s young son / Who burned the poor Zombie to ashes for fun.” For children and the child-like alike.
I dare not photograph any of the pages as that would destroy their initial effect, intricately drawn as they are, beautifully stylised into another world that can exist only in special magic books like this one. Witty, charming, often literary-aristocratic, and grotesque, with cast spells beyond words. Each alphabetic letter is also separately illuminated. Highly concentrated representational designs, but ones in which you will spend whole lifetimes finding new curlicues and intaglios.
I am not an expert on artwork, but I think you will be entranced – and I confidently predict it will be highly sought after and praised by those cleverer about such things than I am.
It must have been a real labour of love and taken just forever to do.
The second alphabet shows how they tried to deal with the monsters and hauntings in the first alphabet. But that might be a spoiler. I shall get rid of the spoiler by cutting it out with scissors later. 😉
I am now appreciating more how the second alphabet pictures are built upon those in the first alphabet, this being a real-time review!
The M.R. Jamesian Heath Robinson. Whatever the case, wonderful stuff. (Some may believe that I have cut out all the pages in fear of their having hidden spoilers. But in truth, I am still poring over them, turning the large, luxurious pages so as to reveal sprites and friendly spirits.)
My previous real-time reviews of Reggie Oliver’s work: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/reggie-oliver/