Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Dust Jacket by Eric Fraser
When I picked this out of a pile of books in a bookshop today and saw the cover design signed by Eric Fraser, I really thought that I had had other examples of his work on this blog before. Searching my own blog, however, I get no results. So here is our first jacket by Eric Fraser (1902-1983). Fraser was a prolific and brilliant illustrator working at his peak in the middle of the last century. He was the artist for many covers of the Radio Times including an iconic Lord of the Rings cover for the issue that covered the beginning of the BBC Radio dramatisation. Topically, he also illustrated the Folio Society edition of The Hobbit, and the internet helpfully provides all of those illustrations in one place. Phil Beard has two fulsome blogposts about Fraser (1 & 2), as does Sci-fi-O-Rama. There is, of course, also a Flickr group.
So this is the jacket for Frank Baines's book Look Towards the Sea, (Eyre & Spottiswode, London, 1958) a novel of Cornwall. There is much to be admired in this jacket: the clever shadowing of the typography, the swirling composition, and what I like best, the very slightly clashing colours and the brightness of the white on the figure's clothing that makes us sure he can only be looking into a sunrise or a sunset.