This month The Folio Society, in conjunction with Ian Fleming publications, release a lavish edition of Ian Fleming’s classic début novel ‘Casino Royale‘. The beautiful artwork was commissioned for acclaimed illustrator Fay Dalton with an introduction by Booker-Prize winning author John Banville. Another must-have item for devoted literary James Bond collectors!
We spoke with Sheri Gee, the art director for the Folio Society about the project:
Casino Royale, Fleming’s first Bond novel, was a fantastic project to work on, from inception to completion, and wonderful to be working on it during Bond-fever as Spectre hit the screens! I’ve worked on many crime novels before, Agatha Christie’s Poirot or Miss Marple stories for instance, where any actual crime is only spoken about in retrospective conversation, making it a very hard job for the illustrator to find anything of action to depict if they’re to remain true to the text. Conversely, in this action/spy genre – crime with a national implication – everything is laid bare in blow by blow detail, making the text a visual feast for any illustrator.
At the beginning of the project, as we contemplated the possible solutions for illustrating the book, looking at different illustrator’s work, we were drawn to the Robert McGinnis film posters for the early Bond films, with their nostalgic glamour. We had a desire to borrow something of their iconic nature, a feel for the period and their seduction but with an injection of the menace evident in the text.
Some time ago I’ve been shown the work of a young British illustrator, Fay Dalton – some very glamorous advertising pieces for a lingerie brand amongst others. With her painterly style imbued with vintage panache, I felt Fay would be perfect for the commission and following her trial illustration, we were delighted that Ian Fleming Publications endorsed our choice, also.
The resulting illustrations are amazing, I think you’ll agree – the right mix of menace paired with elegant style. You may notice that Bond is never shown in full facial detail, compositions cleverly planned to leave enough for the reader, with carefully placed smoke, subdued lighting or clever angles.
Founded in London in 1947, The Folio Society publishes carefully crafted editions of the world’s finest literature. We believe that great books deserve to be presented in a form worthy of their contents. For nearly 70 years we have celebrated the unique joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition.
Fay Dalton is a London-based illustrator. She has a first class degree in Illustration and was the winner of the 2010 Pickled Ink Award for illustration. Fay combines traditional drawing and painting methods with digital painting.
John Banville won the Man Booker Prize for The Sea in 2005 and has also published numerous crime novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.
Order the book here from The Folio Society