I ordered my brother a set of Hornblower novels from The Folio Society as a birthday present (his planned present of a trip to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being delayed by Coronavirus) and they sent me this delightful little anthology on the theme of winter as a free gift. I promised I’d read and review it and managed to do that over lunch today.
There are little anthologies for all the seasons containing poems, snippets of stories, fables, and documents relating to the season in question. In summer it’s nice to be reminded of the chill and crispness of Winter. There is a lovely forward by Susan Cooper who wrote one of my Christmas yearly read books (The Dark Is Rising) and a snippet from that novel is also included. We have war poems, mentions of Frost Fairs on the Thames, Shakespeare, classic novels, and Norse legends included too. If there was one thing I expected and didn’t get it was a snippet from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe as to me that is also a classic description of Winter as a season.
There will be some pieces that you like and some that you don’t. I found myself skim reading a couple of pieces and moving on. But as no piece is more than a couple of pages this isn’t a hardship. This is a book to admire for it’s elegance and simplicity – the font choice is stunning with beatiful ligatures (typography nerd here…). And of course it has the usual illustrations that make Folio works such a treat to own. Simple illustrative, wood cut styled art, is featured throughout as double page spreads provided a pretty pause point. It’s not necessarily something I would have bought myself but I am pleased to have received this and read it.