Selected and introduced by Robert Macfarlane, Illustrated by Stanley Donwood

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The Folio Society - Collected Poems by Thomas Hardy

Selected and introduced by Robert Macfarlane, Illustrated by Stanley Donwood


‘Read them aloud and they will echo in both your ear and your memory’ Robert Macfarlane from his introduction.

This elegant new limited edition presents over 100 of vHardy’s finest verses. Exclusively selected for Folio and superbly introduced by renowned nature writer Robert Macfarlane, it features more than 30 haunting illustrations created by his regular collaborator Stanley Donwood Bodoniana-bound with a striking red leather spine and printed cloth sides, each copy is numbered by hand and signed by both anthologist and illustrator.

Robert Macfarlane has chosen poems from all eight volumes of Hardy’s poetry, giving a perfect cross-section of his varied work. In his introduction, Macfarlane explores how the uncanny, timeless feel of the poetry makes it ‘a bitter, beautiful draught to drink at any time’ – but one that is particularly resonant as we grapple with the effects of the global pandemic.

Macfarlane’s masterful selection is enhanced by the atmospheric illustrations of Stanley Donwood who travelled to Dorset in search of the sites of Hardy’s poetry. For this special commission, he was inspired to create an eerie sequence of pencil sketches and coloured images on scraps of paper, pages torn from yellowing books, old envelopes and even sections of maps. These extraordinary images, described by Macfarlane as a ‘slantwise and surprising’ response, obliquely capture Hardy’s world. Responding to Hardy’s layering of the present and past, Donwood juxtaposes the modern and the ancient, providing a new way of visualising Hardy’s ‘Wessex’. Binding the scheme together are the birds that he identified as the strongest link between Hardy’s world and ours.

This image may be subject to copyright     This image may be subject to copyright

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was born in the Dorset hamlet of Higher Brockhampton, and spent most of his life in this area, which he immortalised as ‘Wessex’. Determined to escape his
humble origins through self-education, he trained as an architect before embarking on his remarkable literary career – first as a controversial novelist, then as a ground-breaking
poet who can be seen as a bridge between the Victorian era
and the twentieth century. Hardy’s poems address everything from the glories of the landscape and the harshness of rural life to the sweetness of love, the bitterness of loss and the reality of war – all in an extraordinary range of metres and forms.
At the very heart of his work – and of this new collection – are the ‘Poems of 1912–1913’, a devastating sequence composed in the wake of the sudden death of his estranged
first wife, Emma. Nearly a century after Hardy’s death, his poetry continues to move readers with its raw honesty and astonishingly contemporary voice.

Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane is an author, academic and environmentalist, whose prize-winning books, including Underland and The Old Ways, have secured his place as one of the great nature writers of his generation. With Stanley Donwood, Macfarlane has published Holloway, a meditation on landscape, and the prose-poem Ness.

Stanley Donwood

Award-winning artist and author Stanley Donwood, best known for his association with the band Radiohead, is acclaimed for his large screen prints exhibited worldwide, his
writings and his art installations. Stanley Donwood’s artwork for this spectacular limited edition will be displayed at the Jealous Gallery in London. Opening on 27 May 2021, ‘The Uncanny Scenery of a Dream' will run until 20 June 2021.

Production Details

Limited to 750 hand-numbered copies signed by
Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood
. . .
109 poems selected and introduced
by Robert Macfarlane
. . .
Frontispiece, 16 full-colour full-page
illustrations and 16 vignettes
by Stanley Donwood
. . .
Bodoniana-bound in full goatskin leather
blocked in white foil on spine
. . .
Boards covered in Iris cloth and printed with a
design by the artist
. . .
Limitation page printed letterpress on
Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten paper
and tipped on by hand
. . .
224 pages typeset in Walbaum and printed on
Old Mill Stucco Gesso paper
. . .
Green Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten endpapers
. . .
Green ribbon marker
. . .
Book size 10? × 71/4?
. . .
Presented in a hand-made slipcase
covered in green Iris cloth blind-blocked
with a design by the artist

Product information
Limited to 750 signed and hand-numbered copies

UK £295 US $445 Can $595 Aus $695

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