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Edward Bawden RA, Frontispiece

Frontispiece, 1980

Edward Bawden RA (1903 - 1989)

RA Collection: Art

One of 19 illustrations (plus dust-jacket) made by Bawden for Thomas Hennell's Lady Filmy Fern (written 1930s, published 1980). The book was written by Hennell, as a compilation of plots which he, Bawden and other friends invented during evenings together, but it was put aside after a publisher rejected it. Malcolm Yorke summarises the plot: 'The glamorous Lady Filmy Fern has retired from Society and its pressures to live under a bell-jar at the bottom of a cliff, her only neighbour being a deferential carpenter, Mr Virgin Cork. However, their privacy is disturbed by an intrusive paparazzo called the Welsh Polypod, a giant spider with a camera. They flee in a floating window box pursued b the villainous spider as far as India and beyond, but after various alarms it ends satisfactorily for all three characters.'

Bawden had finished his pen and ink and gouache designs by 1940, and hid them in his garden during World War II. The book, with Bawden's illustrations, were only published many years later.

A related watercolour by Bawden was exhibited in the 2018 exhibition of the artist's work at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Object details

Title
Frontispiece
Artist/designer
Edward Bawden RA (1903 - 1989)
From
Thomas Harrel, Lady Filmy Fern; or The Voyage of the Window Box
Date
1980
Place of Publication
London
Copyright owner
Dimensions

165 mm x 255 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
18/1210
This image is from a book

Lady Filmy Fern, or, the voyage of the window box / by Thomas Hennell ; illustrated by Edward Bawden. - London: 1980

Click here to view the book

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