Words & Pictures: Writers, Artists and a Peculiarly British Tradition (2008)
This beautifully illustrated little book explores the connections and interactions between British writers and artists.
As children, learning to read, we look first at the pictures in books — they tell the tale in their own way. With great writers, this power endures: artists connect with words in different ways. Words & Pictures explores three fascinating examples of the relationships between artists and writers. It looks at the illustrations of Paradise Lost and Pilgrim’s Progress; at Hogarth and Fielding, a writer and artist dealing with common material; and at Wordsworth and Thomas Bewick, a poet and engraver working separately, but imbued with the spirit of their age. A brief coda turns to a fourth kind of relationship: the writers and artists who collaborate from the start, beginning with Dickens and Phiz.
Sometimes amusing, sometimes moving, the book touches on a peculiarly British tradition of community and defiance of authority, unmasking pretension and celebrating energy and warmth, linking daily life to the universal and the Sublime.