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Introducing the latest pocket editions from bestselling colouring book illustrator Millie Marotta

We’re celebrating the release of two new Millie Marotta Pocket Colouring Books with a competition giveaway! Three lucky winners will get two wonderful portable copies of Millie Marotta’s Secrets of the Sea and Woodland Wild perfect for colouring on the go. Featuring over 80 illustrations in each book, here is a host of delightful creatures that are ready to be brought to life with your pens and pencils.

Discover the wondrous wildlife from the arctic waters to the balmy Australian coast, and wander through a world of towering trees and leafy canopies guaranteeing hours of relaxation and colouring fun. With intriguing creatures from jellyfish, seahorses, manatees and polar bears to lemurs, leaf frogs and ladybugs, indulge your creativity and enjoy the perfect mindful activity.

We have 3 sets of books to giveaway!

The lucky winners will receive a copy of both Secrets of the Sea and Woodland Wild, worth £11.98. To enter, simply fill out your details below.

 

Name
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The competition is open to residents of the UK until 7th April 2023. We will contact you shortly if you are one of our lucky winners.

 

         

 

 

 

 

As the weather warms and we return to the sanctuary of our favourite outdoor spaces, author Claire Masset explores the mystery of what it is that makes us love gardening in her new book Why We Garden. Hear from three famous gardeners on what makes the garden special for them.

Delving into history, science, art and philosophy of centuries past, Why We Garden is a quaint little book and a hymn to gardening, drawing inspiration from the gardening greats. From ancient Greek and French philosophers, via the wisdom of Margery Fish and Gertrude Jekyll, to Monty Don and modern-day gardeners ­– this is a thoughtful little book for everyone with green fingers. Read on to find out what makes the garden such a special place for painter Claude Monet, novelist Elizabeth Von Arnim and Sissinghurst co-creator Harold Nicolson.

‘I must have flowers,

always, and always.’

Claude Monet

 

Monet didn’t have just any flowers though; his artist’s eye and horticultural knowledge told him which plants to select and where to put them to create a garden which was, quite simply, beautiful. Isn’t that what all gardeners want – a mini Giverny? Not a smaller, facsimile version, but what it represents: a satisfying creative endeavour, a visual delight. Monet, the ultimate artist-gardener, loved his garden perhaps even more than his painting. For the last 43 years of his life, it was his inspiration, his joy, his world. But it was also, he confessed, his ‘most beautiful masterpiece’. Our natural desire to create beauty is nowhere better served than in a garden, and this is despite gardening’s many challenges. It is the most difficult art to get right. To be successful, you need to create a complete experience: one that you can look at, like a painting, but also walk around. A garden is a space you inhabit. It envelops you, not just with its physical boundaries, but with its spirit – a distinct nature incorporating movement, light and sound, which the gardener has helped to fashion.

 

‘The garden is the place

I go for refuge and shelter,

not the house.’

Elizabeth Von Arnim

 

In Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898), the eponymous heroine escapes into the garden whenever she can. ‘In the house are duties and annoyances, but out there blessings count me at every step,’ she writes. Her garden is her sanctuary, where she feels ‘protected and at home’, where ‘every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution.’ Her garden even bestows kindness and forgiveness.

 

‘A series of escapes from the world’

Harold Nicolson

 

Harold Nicolson, co-creator of Sissinghurst with his wife Vita Sackville-West, described his plot as ‘a succession of privacies’. The garden ‘rooms’ amount to a ‘series of escapes from the world, giving the impression of cumulative escape.’ Because of this, Sissinghurst ‘has a quality of mellowness, of retirement, of unflaunting dignity.’ Anyone who has been lucky enough to enjoy its famous White Garden on a quiet day will know what he means. Theirs was not one sanctuary but a string of them, each with its own atmosphere, each a garden in itself, self-contained and introspective. The vibrant yet homely Cottage Garden, the romantic Rose Garden, the light-suffused Nuttery, the peaceful Herb Garden – all share that same quality of quiet withdrawal.

 

Why We Garden is available to buy from good booksellers and online.

Illustrations by Claire Harrup

 

Why We Garden

Claire Masset | £14.99

 

Invigorating spring poems to enjoy from the beautiful seasonal anthology A Nature Poem for Every Spring Evening.

The arrival of spring sees the natural world beginning to awaken. As the season progresses and the days get noticeable longer, we’ll soon have lighter evenings that we all can enjoy. Spring is a season much loved by poets for all the promise it holds. This season of new beginnings is celebrated in A Nature Poem for Every Spring Evening, edited by Jane McMorland Hunter, featuring 91 poems from March through to May. Here are three poets’ takes on this season of change, to stir your excitement for this fleeting but delightful time of year.

 

An April Day

Breezes strongly rushing, when the North-West

stirs,

Prophesying Summer to the shaken firs;

Blowing brows of forest, where soft airs are free,

Crowned with heavenly glimpses of the shining

sea;

Buds and breaking blossoms, that sunny April

yields;

Ferns and fairy grasses, the children of the fields;

In the fragrant hedges’ hollow brambled gloom

Pure primroses paling into perfect bloom;

Round the elms rough stature, climbing dark and

high,

Ivy-fringes trembling against a golden sky;

Woods and windy ridges darkening in the glow;

The rosy sunset bathing all the vale below;

Violet banks forsaken in the fading light;

Starry sadness filling the quiet eyes of night;

Dew on all things drooping for the summer rains;

Dewy daisies folding in the lonely lanes.

 

Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

 

 

 

Very Early Spring

 

The fields are snowbound no longer;

There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.

The snow has been caught up into the sky –

So many white clouds – and the blue of the sky is cold.

Now the sun walks in the forest,

He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;

They shiver, and wake from slumber.

Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.

Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears …

A wind dances over the fields.

Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter, Yet the little blue lakes tremble

And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.

 

Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923)

 

 

 

The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of green-fire trees, and flame-filled

bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the flickering, watery

rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, these smoke-puffs that puff in wild

gyration,

Faces of people blowing across my gaze!

And I, what sort of fire am I among

This conflagration of spring? the gap in it all – !

Not even palish smoke like the rest of the throng.

Less than the wind that runs to the flamy call!

 

D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930)

 

A Nature Poem for Every Spring Evening is available to buy from good booksellers and online.

Illustrations by Jessamy Hawke

 

A Nature Poem for Every Spring Evening 

Jane McMorland Hunter | £14.99

Explore our list for the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year

Bringing a smile to the faces of all types of mum, scroll down to see our list of gorgeous titles for Mother’s Day 2023.

 

Simple Weave

Kerstin Neumüller | £14.99

For the creative mums out there, discover a world of weaving on the go with Kerstin Neumüller’s latest book Simple Weave. With bags of inspiration for those who have never woven but are eager to try, Kerstin demonstrates how you can weave with tools that are easy to make yourself and often small enough to fit in your pocket. With practical and beautiful keepsakes to make, including Scandi-style bands, bracelets, pencil, laptop cases and wall hangings, enjoy the mindfulness and rhythm of this traditional craft and create bespoke, contemporary pieces to fit any style.

 

Why We Garden

Claire Masset | £14.99

If gardening is the activity of choice for your mum, then this beautifully illustrated compilation is the perfect gift for her. Both a hymn to gardening and a call to action, this down-to-earth guide is worth a hundred ‘how-tos’. Wander the gardens of Giverny with Monet to create your own ‘beautiful masterpiece’ or, like George Orwell, reap the joy to be found in the work of a vegetable plot. Drawing on the wisdom of artists, scientists, historians, and philosophers – from Voltaire to Monty Don – this thoughtful guide explores the mystery of why we love our gardens.

 

Bedside Companion for Book Lovers

Jane McMorland Hunter | £20.00

If your mum spends her holidays wrapped in novels, then Bedside Companion for Book Lovers by Jane McMorland Hunter is a fitting gift. The ultimate ‘book about books’, this glorious treasury of literary curiosities is an eclectic mix of fact and fiction, letters, diaries, essays and dedications, all suffused with the joys of books and reading. From Charles Dickens thoughts on the smell of books to Maya Angelou on the pleasures of reading aloud, along the way you’ll find advice on how to look after your most precious volumes, what to do when books start taking over your home, and where to find the most atmospheric libraries and bookshops around the world. Gift this beautifully illustrated book for her bedside table and open the portal into a magical world of books every night of the year.

 

Nordic Baby Crochet

Charlotte Kofoed Westh | £17.99

For brand-new grandmas who can’t wait to get hands-on, Nordic Baby Crochet by Charlotte Kofoed Westh showcases easy to follow crochet patterns to create beautiful baby clothes and accessories without the need for arduous assembly. If crafting is your mother’s relaxing pastime, then spark her interest with these gorgeous modern designs and simple patterns for adorable baby clothes. Perfect for experienced chrocheters as well as those just starting out, the accessible step-by-step guides will walk readers through the process with ease to make cardigans, dresses, bibs, blankets, hats and more.

 

A Happy Poem to End Every Day

Jane McMorland Hunter | £20.00

These days we’re all in need of a little nugget of happiness to help soothe our weary souls at the end of the day. A Happy Poem to End Every Day provides just that: one sublimely happy poem for every day of the year, from cosy fireside idylls in winter to outdoor adventures in summer, encounters with the beauty of nature in spring and moments of quiet reflection in autumn. Featuring some of the greatest poets ever to put pen to paper, from William Wordsworth on the joy of skating and Emily Brontë enjoying life on the moors to Simon Armitage catching a cricket ball and Wendy Cope sharing an orange, with a good smattering of classic jolly verse such as Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat. This is the perfect mindful reading for those busy mums who should take a minute to relax with some beautiful examples of poetry.

 

Diana – The Life and Legacy of the People’s Princess

Brian Hoey | £12.99

A beautiful keepsake for the millions of fans of Princess Di, this commemorative book is a thoughtful portrait of the former Princess of Wales by royal biographer Brian Hoey, paying tribute to the life of this remarkable young woman. Admired throughout the world for her vitality, compassion, determination and beauty, she brought a new dimension to the Royal Family and quickly became regarded as one of the most glamorous women in the world. Now, more than a quarter of a century on, she remains universally loved as unprecedented in one from her generation and background. Illustrated with photographs from throughout her life, this is a beautiful book for any mother who adored the People’s Princess.

 

A Flower A Day

Mirand Janatka | £20.00

In addition to a bouquet of flowers this Mother’s Day, treat your mum to a copy of this beautiful and botanical book. Illustrated with stunning photographs and works of art, this collection is a
celebration of flowers and their special place in both the natural world and our culture. Discover the magnificent magnolia, which evolved more than 95 million years ago at the time of dinosaurs, and the specific perfumed rose that covers the land around Grasse in France. Read about the powerful medicinal elements of the Manuka bush flowers and the inspiration behind William Wordsworth’s ‘host of golden daffodils’. Written by horticultural writer of Gardeners’ World magazine, Miranda Janatka, this vibrant book is bound to bring a smile to the face of any mum who loves flowers.

 

Such a Sweet Singing

Kirsty Gunn | £12.99

Poetry to empower every woman this Mother’s Day, Such a Sweet Singing is a beautiful collection of poems to nourish, inspire and change the women who read them. Spanning the worlds of desire, love and friendship, of responsibility, hardship and care, of family and friends and lovers, these poems empower us with strength and courage, fill us with verve and spirit, and inspire creativity and imagination. The contemporary voices of Fiona Benson and Jane Yeh join the evocative imagery of Christina Rossetti, Anna Akhmatova and Emily Dickinson, and examples of the haunting voices of ancient Sappho, Venmaniputti and Li Qingzhao touch today’s generation. Here are poems written by women, with women’s lives in mind.
Read these poems aloud. Remember them. Share them.

 

A Nature Poem for Every Spring Evening

Jane McMorland Hunter | £14.99

Celebrating the upcoming season, A Nature Poem for Every Spring Eveningis a sublime bedside companion to enjoy as the frost melts and days grow longer, with poems from William Blake and Emily Dickinson to Robert Browning and Eleanor Farjeon. The perfect companion on a spring evening for any poetry-loving mum, this collection of 91 spring poems will invigorate her for the  months to come.

 

Millie Marotta’s Island Escape

Millie Marotta | £12.99

The ideal gift for any mum who deserves to relax and unwind, Millie Marotta’s Island Escapeinvites to a paradise where lizards lounge and sea birds soar. Itching for a splash of colour, herein lies a multide of drawings ready to be brought to life. From Madagascar to the remote Svalbard, from Vancouver to the Galápagos Islands, discover Cozumel Island’s pygmy raccoon, the Komodo dragon, the Mauritian flying fox and the Javan rhino. Colour in exotic pitcher plants, orchids and vines, all illustrated in Millie’s much-loved signature style within this much-loved and mindful activity.

 

Forever Flowers

Ann Lindsay | £14.99

Perfectly written for preserving all the beautiful bouquets this year, Forever Flowers by Ann Lindsay promises to teach any creative mum how to grow, dry and arrange her favourite flowers so they can be cherished for years to come. From coffee table posies and hand tied gift bunches to large arrangements and wedding bouquets, beautiful photography accompanies step-by-step guidance to this contemporary reimagining of a timeless craft. With an encyclopaedic list of flowers and foliage and filled with delicate watercolour illustrations, this is an exceptional guide to the art of growing, drying and arranging flowers that stand the test of time.

 

All books are available to buy from good booksellers and online, including on Bookshop.org.

In celebration of World Book Day today, we have shared some extracts from the Bedside Companion for Book Lovers – a glorious anthology of thoughts and writing about the joy of books and reading. This beautiful book is an eclectic mix of fact and fiction, letters, diaries, essays and dedications from the greatest writers and book lovers throughout history.

From Virginia Woolf on the importance of finding space for writing to Charles Dickens on the smell of books, we have shared a few of our favourites for you to enjoy…

 

Serendipity in Hatchards Bookshop

Jane McMorland Hunter, author of Bedside Companion for Book Lovers

 

As well as editing and writing books, I work in Hatchards Bookshop

in Piccadilly, London. I started there as a Christmas temp in 1982

and misunderstood the word ‘temp’. I’m still there. Obviously I think

it’s a Good Bookshop, in fact I think it’s the best. And, I think, what

follows proves my point.

I usually work on the second floor (children’s and cookery) but

one busy day I had to go down to the first floor (fiction, poetry,

literary criticism, etc.) to find a book for a customer. I swept past the

desk and my elbow sent a display of little books flying. As I picked

them up, put them back and straightened the pile, I noticed the title:

The Unknown Unknown by Mark Forsyth. My curiosity was aroused

and, as well as the book for the customer, I took a copy of this little

book back up to the second floor. I read it and loved it, not least

because the way I had found it suited the book. I had had no idea

that it existed before chance, or serendipity, brought it into contact

with my elbow.

To quote Donald Rumsfeld in Mark Forsyth’s book:

‘There are things we know that we know. There are known

unknowns. That is to say there are things that we know we don’t

know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we

do not know we don’t know.’

As The Unknown Unknown shows, this statement, which might

appear perplexing but doesn’t, if you think about it, applies perfectly

to books.

 

Entry for February 2, page 49

 

Women and Fiction

From A Room of One’s Own, 1929 | Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)

 

The title women and fiction might mean, and you may have meant

it to mean, women and what they are like; or it might mean women

and the fiction that they write; or it might mean women and the

fiction that is written about them; or it might mean that somehow all

three are inextricably mixed together and you want me to consider

them in that light. But when I began to consider the subject in this

last way, which seemed the most interesting, I soon saw that it had

one fatal drawback. I should never be able to come to a conclusion.

I should never be able to fulfil what is, I understand, the first duty

of a lecturer – to hand you after an hour’s discourse a nugget of pure

truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on

the mantelpiece for ever. All I could do was to offer you an opinion

upon one minor point – a woman must have money and a room of

her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the

great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of

fiction unsolved. I have shirked the duty of coming to a conclusion

upon these two questions – women and fiction remain, so far as I am

concerned, unsolved problems.

 

Entry for January 19, page 31

 

 

Reading at Mealtimes

From The Anatomy of Bibliomania, 1930 | George Holbrook Jackson (1874–1948)

 

Reading at mealtimes has innumerable precedents, and much may

be said in support of it, in spite of those who would hold fast to the

conviction that eating is an art in itself which tolerates no rival; or

those others, more medically disposed, who give out that any exigent

concern at table, by obtruding itself upon ingestion, which is the

main object, sets up a disaffection of the inward parts and ends up in

dyspepsias and other gastric derangements. But their arguments

are none too sound, and, if true, would rule out conversation and

music, and all those other amenities which add so much to the

pleasure of dining.

 

Entry for May 4, page 153

 

 

Ballade of the Bookman’s Paradise

Andrew Lang (1844–1912)

 

There is a Heaven, or here, or there

A Heaven there is, for me and you.

Where bargains meet for purses spare

Like ours, are not so far and few.

Thuanus’ bees go humming through

The learned groves, ’neath rainless skies.

O’er volumes old and volumes new.

Within that Bookman’s Paradise.

There, treasures bound for Longepierre

Keep brilliant their morocco blue.

There Hooke’s Amanda is not rare,

Nor early tracts upon Peru!

Racine is common as Rotrou,

No Shakespeare quarto search defies.

And Caxtons grow as blossoms grow,

Within that Bookman’s Paradise.

There’s Eve – not our first mother fair –

But Clovis Eve, a binder true;

Thither does Bauzonnet repair,

Derome, Le Gascon, Padeloup!

But never come the cropping crew

That dock a volume’s honest size,

Nor they that ‘letter’ backs askew,

Within that Bookman’s Paradise.

ENVOY

Friend, do not Heber and de Thou,

And Scott, and Southey, kind and wise,

La chasse au bouquin still pursue

Within that Bookman’s Paradise.

 

Entry for August 1, page 256-7

 

Caring for Books

From The Enemies of Books, 1880 | William Blades (1824–1890)

 

The surest way to preserve your books in health is to treat them as

you should your own children, who are sure to sicken if confined in

an atmosphere which is impure, too hot, too cold, too damp, or too

dry. It is just the same with the progeny of literature.

 

Entry for September 3, page 294

 

Happiness in a Bookshop

From Martin Chuzzlewit, 1842–1844 | Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

 

[The bookshops] whence a pleasant smell of paper freshly pressed

came issuing forth, awakening instant recollections of some new

grammar had at school, long time ago, with ‘Master Pinch, Grove

House Academy,’ inscribed in faultless writing on the fly-leaf! That

whiff of russia leather, too, and all those rows on rows of volumes

neatly ranged within – what happiness did they suggest! And in the

window were the spick-and-span new works from London, with the

title-pages, and sometimes even the first page of the first chapter, laid

wide open; tempting unwary men to begin to read the book, and

then, in the impossibility of turning over, to rush blindly in, and buy

it! Here too were the dainty frontispiece and trim vignette, pointing

like handposts on the outskirts of great cities, to the rich stock of

incident beyond; and store of books, with many a grave portrait and

time-honoured name, whose matter he knew well, and would have

given mines to have, in any form, upon the narrow shell beside his

bed at Mr Pecksniff’s. What a heart-breaking shop it was!

 

Entry for September 13, page 304

 

A year on and Ukraine stands undefeated. 🇺🇦 It’s been a year of untold amounts of suffering, but also a year when the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people has continued to impress. It’s also made many of us more curious about our fellow European country in the east. We’re very excited to work with Ukraïner, a volunteer-led organisation with the aim to promote Ukraine to the world, to bring out Inside Ukraine: A portrait of a country and its people.

Inside Ukraine is an exploration of the real Ukraine, told through over 350 evocative images that provides a fascinating insight into this amazing country. Here are just some of the images, showcasing a fantastic landscape and rich culture.

Top image: Synevyr is the largest mountain lake in Ukraine, located at 989 metres above sea level in the Vnutrishni (Inner) Gorgany mountain range in the Carpathians.

The folk holiday of Malanka takes place on 13 January and the celebrations in the village of Osychky are absolutely authentic, as the people have managed to preserve their old traditions without interference from tourists or the media.

In summer, 70 per cent of the world‘s great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) reside in the Danube Delta, between the territories of Ukraine and Romania.

A ‘lizhnyk’ is a blanket woven from sheep’s wool. They were traditionally made in the Hutsul village of Yavoriv and used in ceremonies and daily life.

The Mezyn National Nature Park covers over 31,000 hectares. More than 50 archaeological features are preserved here. The most famous is a Mezyn Palaeolithic site. There are a number of historical settlements around the park and nearby; these include buildings, temples and park complexes.


The villages of Savran, Osychky and Vilshanka are best known for their tradition of broom-making. People call them ‘environmentally friendly vacuum cleaners’. Children, teenagers, adults and elderly people alike are involved with broom weaving. For an experienced craftsperson, it takes only five minutes to finish one broom.

In the 1930s, the village of Kolochava was mentioned in the novel Nikola the Outlaw, by Czech author Ivan Olbracht, who had lived there for several years. The book made Kolochava village a popular destination for Czech tourists. Nowadays, Kolochava is home to many museums and an unforgettably picturesque road along the river leading to the village.

 

Discover more in Inside Ukraine by Ukraïner, out now!

Say hello to our new jigsaw puzzle range, inspired by Batsford’s vintage book covers by illustrator and artist Brian Cook.

Cook’s take on Gloucester cathedral graced the dust jacket of the 1934 book The Cathedrals of England. Meanwhile, The Landscape of England, featuring on the 1933 book with the same name, depicts the rolling hills loosely based on the headlands of Great and Little Hangman, North Devon.

We have three jigsaw puzzles to give away, each worth £15.99!

The three lucky winners will get a choice between The Cathedrals of England or The Landscape of England. To enter, simply fill out your details below.

Name
Preferred jigsaw puzzle design
Would you like to subscribe to Batsford's email newsletter?
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The competition is open to residents of the UK until Monday 19th December. Winners will be contacted on Tuesday 20th. Please note we cannot guarantee delivery of the prize before Christmas.

If you’re looking for the perfect cosy Christmas gifts for your loved ones this winter, then scroll through our recommended list for some fireside reading.

Including some of our newest titles to wrap up the year, this heart-warming list of beautiful books will entertain you in your magical winter wonderland. From mighty architectural tomes, to quirky stocking fillers to inspire some Christmas giggles, curl up and enjoy the perfect book this year.

 

Architecture:

 

Building Utopia: The Barbican Centre

Nicholas Kenyon (ed) | £40.00

Dive into festive London with our vibrant celebration of The Barbican Centre. This beautifully designed book, published in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the iconic London landmark, contains a wealth of rare illustrative and incredible historic material from the Barbican’s archives, some never before seen in print, illuminating the plans and the programmes of the last forty years.

Opened in 1982, the Barbican has become one of the world’s foremost cultural centres. Drawing together in one architectural vision great spaces for theatre and dance, music of all genres, visual arts, cinema and creative learning, the Barbican is a microcosm of the changing world of culture and the arts in the post-war years. With detailed chapters by architectural experts such as Robert Hewison, Nicholas Kenyon and Elain Harwood, this visually stunning book is an essential companion to a unique, vibrant and ever-changing institution.

 

Brutalist Britain

Elain Harwood | £25.00

An illustrated guide to Britain’s finest examples of Brutalist architecture written by one of the UK’s foremost architectural historians, Brutalist Britain is the latest book in Elain Harwood’s series on 20th-century architectural styles, published in collaboration with the Twentieth Century Society (which also includes Mid-Century Britain, Art Deco Britain, and Post-modern Buildings in Britain). Brutalism was an architectural response to Britain’s greatest wave of levelling up between north and south, rich and poor, in the 1960s. It was far-sighted and well-meant, if crippled by unrealistic goals, uncertain funding and local corruption. Brutalist Britain assesses the finest architectural survivals from those heady times.

Featured within this tome of concrete is a mix of well-known British landmarks such as London’s National Theatre and Trellick Tower, nestled amongst a range of more obscure examples that we should know better. Brutalist private houses, flats, places of worship, offices and much more will provide a fascinating architectural escape for those looking to broaden their horizons this Christmas within the context of contemporary architecture.

 

100 20th Century Houses

Twentieth Century Society | £25.00

Looking for architectural inspiration this Christmas? This beautiful book with stunning photography celebrates Britain’s diverse housing styles through the 20th Century and beyond.

100 20th-Century Houses is a fascinating insight into Britain’s built heritage and the exciting and ground-breaking housing styles of the revolutionary twentieth century. Redesigned in this brand-new edition, this book showcases 100 houses that represent a range of architectural styles over the decades, from modernist to mock Tudor, arts and craft to brutalism. Featuring the work of renowned architects such as Walter Gropius, Edwin Lutyens, David Chipperfield and many more, there are homes built as part of garden cities, semi-detached suburban dwellings, housing estates, eco-houses, almshouses, converted factories and affordable post-war homes, showing that the twentieth century was an electrifying era for the built environment.

Accompanied by text from leading architecture critics and design historians, this compelling book gives a glimpse into the wonderful housing Britain has to offer and is a must-have for all fans of architecture.

 

Art Deco Britain

Elain Harwood | £25.00

Featuring a fabulous array of iconic architecture from the 1920s–30s, explore the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era with this definitive guide by architectural historian Elain Harwood.

Nearly a century after Art Deco first lit up the luxury store and cinema screen, it remains as glamorous as ever. The style – also known as Jazz Modern or moderne until the 1960s – was transported by ocean liner across the world from its origins in Vienna and Paris, offering a slick of sophistication and succinct design to rich and poor alike. A perfect gift for anyone who loves architecture, this beautifully produced book is a definitive guide to a timeless building style.

 

 

 

Bedtime Reading:

 

A Nature Poem for Every Winter Evening

Jane McMorland Hunter | £14.99

Curl up by the fireside this winter with the first title in Batsford’s new seasonal poetry series. A wonderful bedside companion for a frosty winter’s evening, immerse yourself in the words of some of the finest poets to ever put pen to paper as they describe this beautiful and festive season. From Shakespeare to Keats, Wilde to Dickinson; this is the ideal book to take you through the darker months of the year as you wait for the snow to thaw.

 

Bedside Companion for Book Lovers

Jane McMorland Hunter | £20.00

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in your life; Bedside Companion for Book Lovers is an anthology of literary delights for every night of the year. An eclectic treasury of literary curiosities, this book contains a delightful mix of fact and fiction, letters, diaries, essays and dedications, all suffused with the joys of books and reading.

Here you’ll find Charles Dickens on the smell of books, Maya Angelou on the pleasures of reading aloud, Virginia Woolf on finding space for writing, Nick Hornby on reading for pure enjoyment, and much more. Along the way, there’s advice on how to look after your most precious volumes, what to do when books start taking over your home, and where to find the most atmospheric libraries and bookshops around the world.

This is the ultimate ‘book about books’ to keep by your bedside, and a must-have for any book lover this Christmas!

 

Anglo-Saxon Myths

Brice Stratford | £16.99

Transport yourself this Christmas to an archaic world overflowing with mythology, magic and all manner of beguiling creatures. An enchanting and atmospheric collection of 30 folk tales, beautifully illustrated by Jesús Sotés, this book is a portal into the fantasy world that inspired hugely popular sagas such as Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings.

Dive headfirst into these ancient tales and timeless epics, told centuries ago by Anglo-Saxon storytellers around the fire. From the Wyrd who weave our fates, to Woden the Wyrm-wise and the flaming axe of Thunner that felled giants and dragons alike, there are tales to intrigue and inspire us all on a cold, dark night.

 

A Happy Poem to End Every Day

Jane McMorland Hunter | £20.00

These days we’re all in need of a little nugget of happiness to help soothe our weary souls at the end of the day. A Happy Poem to End Every Day provides just that: one sublimely happy poem for every day of the year, from cosy fireside idylls in winter to outdoor adventures in summer, encounters with the beauty of nature in spring and moments of quiet reflection in autumn.

The perfect new anthology to keep by your bedside, this bumper collection of 366 delightfully happy poems will raise your spirits before turning out the light. So lean into the Danish art of hygge and curl up with some candles to discover what literary delight each evening has in store.

 

Dark Fairy Tales of Fearless Women

Rosalind Kerven | £12.99

To celebrate the festive season, enter a world in which magic exists, hope wins and every woman’s heart is alive with courage!

In this feast of ancient tales, women and girls draw on their bravery, cunning and wit to overcome astonishing dangers and obstacles. Readers will shudder, cheer and laugh as the heroines face monsters, bandits, dragons and ghosts; admire their courage and wisdom and marvel as they defeat terrifying manifestations of the supernatural. Folklore expert Rosalind Kerven retells these historic folk stories from Scotland, Iceland, Japan, India, Hawaii, Arabia, Iran, Lesotho and all corners of the world.

 

 

 

Nature, Gardening and Pets:

 

A Flower A day

Miranda Janatka | £20.00

A perfect gift for anyone who loves flowers; A Flower A Day celebrates the beauty of flora with fascinating and richly illustrated stories for every day of the year. From gardener and horticultural writer Miranda Janatka, this glorious book of 366 flowers reveals not only their beauty but the fascinating botanical, literary, folkloric and historical stories behind them.

Take a tour around the world with species ranging from garden favourites such as the humble daisy, to the magnificent magnolia which evolved more than 95 million years ago during the Jurassic eras. Perfect for dipping in and out of, this is a stunning must-have book for any fan of flowers and gardening.

 

A Year of Birdsong

Dominic Couzens | £20.00

With a renewed interest over the last decade in learning about the natural world around us and how to protect it, this book is the perfect introduction to 52 different species of birds and their songs. A natural wonder that has captivated and fascinated people for generations, birdsong is the soundtrack to life. In this gorgeously illustrated book, leading bird expert and writer Dominic Couzens invites us to enjoy a myriad of birdsong, with one entry for every week of the year.

Appealing to anyone interested in birdwatching and for those looking to understand birds from every corner of the world, delve into a world of birdsong this Christmas.

 

Bedside Companion for Gardeners

Jane McMorland Hunter | £20.00

For your green-fingered relative or friend, this gorgeous anthology will bring the garden to their bedside every night of the year. A beautifully presented treasure trove of garden poetry and prose, practical advice and wildly impractical ideas; the Bedside Companion for Gardeners invites the reader to dip in and out and draws on writing through the ages. Featuring Vita Sackville-West on the abundance of tulips to Monty Don on the temporal nature of a garden, this book will bring the outdoors in for a moment of escape every evening, and is the perfect gift for any gardener.

 

Labradors and Whippets

Jane Eastoe | £12.99

A brand-new series for all dog lovers, Labradors and Whippets are two beautifully illustrated guides to dog breeds to give your furry friends the Christmas they deserve! Written from the point of view of the dogs themselves, these guides are packed full of information, tips and tricks to tell you what dogs want in their own words, woofs and wags.

Whether you’re getting a puppy for Christmas (and for life), or have been a dog-owner for decades, these playful and informative books take a fresh look at the world of dogs and explain everything you need to know about these lovable breeds, while celebrating their spirited personalities and their most adorable charms.

 

 

 

Art and Craft:

 

Millie Marotta’s Island Escape

Millie Marotta | £12.99

Swap the cold weather for some winter sun this year with Millie Marotta’s Island Escape.

‘Queen of colouring’ Millie Marotta is back with an exciting new book to bring to life with colour. Prepare to be whisked away by Island Escape on an adventure around the world where you’re invited to colour in a host of glorious island wildlife. Immerse yourself in a paradise where lizards lounge and sea birds soar, from Madagascar to the remote Svalbard, and Vancouver to the Galápagos Islands. There’s also exotic greenery to add a touch of colour to, from pitcher plants and orchids, to vines and prickly pear trees. Whether tropical or arctic, wind-blown or mountainous, far-flung or closer to home – an island escape full of glorious wildlife awaits to be coloured.

 

Adam Dant’s Political Maps

Adam Dant | £30.00

For the politically minded, artist and cartographer Adam Dant brings us a timely large-format collection of beautiful fine art maps looking at the fractious world of politics. With his intricate, witty and insightful images, he turns our attention to British politics and beyond; everything from Brexit to the pandemic, past invasions and independence movements, gentrification in London to arcane slang in Paris and New York.

With special attention on details such as Johnson’s London: Notorious places associated with the former Prime Minister, including all the houses he has ever lived in.

These glorious works of art are intricate, amusing and subversive, hugely imaginative and packed with eye-catching detail!

 

Art of the Limited Palette

Hazel Soan | £19.99

Get creative this winter with bestselling author and artist Hazel Soan as she teaches how to master the art of watercolouring with a limited palette. Using only three colours (sometimes up to five) she demonstrates how to achieve spontaneity and lightness in each painting. Learn how to choose, mix and apply colours for a fresh and lively result that captures a sense of character and place, with step-by-step instructions to guide your approach. The invaluable knowledge she has is showcased in Hazel’s own glorious watercolour paintings, interspersed throughout the book, which reveal how thoughtful combinations can provide infinitely rich and exciting possibilities for the budding watercolour artist.

 

Tom Eckersley

Paul Rennie | £25.00

For anyone with an eye for design, explore the extensive works of 20th century graphic design icon Tom Eckersley. A perfect coffee table book, featuring hundreds of his recognisable designs for posters and brands from London Transport and the BBC to Guinness and Shell, this richly illustrated book is a wealth of bold, bright colours and flat graphic shapes that are the timeless trademark of Eckersley’s style.

Within this book, design writer and former Eckersley archivist Paul Rennie gives a fascinating exploration of Tom Eckersley’s life and work: through the Second World War to his important role in mid-century graphic design in the decades after. A celebration of a true mid-century modern master, this is the first book on Tom Eckersley of its kind and will appeal to anyone interested in art and graphic design.

 

 

 

Stocking Fillers:

 

Brian Cook’s Cathedrals and Landscapes of England Jigsaw Puzzles

B.T Batsford | £15.99

Nothing says Christmas like a jigsaw puzzle – introducing Batsford’s brand-new series of jigsaws. Featuring vintage book cover artworks by Brian Cook, immerse yourself in his colourful vision of England with these two new jigsaw puzzles, based on Batsford book jackets from the 1930s. Much-loved, timeless pieces of illustrative art, and highly collectable, Cook’s book covers have been exploded into 1000 pieces, all held in a sustainable paper bag, providing hours of family fun and mindful entertainment this winter.

 

A History of the World in 100 Limericks

Mick Twister | £6.99

 

There is a young fellow named Mick

Who’s adapted the old limerick

To cover, with mirth

The whole history of Earth

And what made its characters tick.

Get your relatives giggling at Christmas with this bite-size book of the history of the world in five rib-tickling lines. These 100 lively and humorous limericks by London-based journalist Mick Twister take us back to the beginning of time itself: from the Big Bang to the present day. Covering everyone’s favourite history lessons (and a few surprising ones too), Mick cleverly raids the tomes of the past and picks at the bones of the world’s greatest figures, moments and events. Also a part-time cryptic crossword compiler, Mick Twister reports news in limericks on Twitter as @twitmericks, many of which have been reproduced by the Washington Post and the New Statesman.

The dinosaurs like Allosaurus

Died out quite a long time before us

Which worked in our favour –

We’ve such a nice flavour,

I doubt that they’d want to ignore us.

Cleopatra, Henry VIII, Mary Wollstonecraft, Rosa Parks, Alan Turing and many more all get the limerick treatment along with the Berlin Wall’s Rise and Fall, the Boston Tea Party and the moon landing. Whoever said that history was boring had clearly never read this book!

 

Such a Sweet Singing

Kirsty Gunn | £12.99

A beautiful collection of poems written to nourish, inspire and change those who read them. A selection of poems written by women, with women’s lives in mind, from the contemporary voices of Fiona Benson and Jane Yeh to the evocative imagery of Christina Rossetti, Anna Akhmatova and Emily Dickinson. These poems explore the worlds of desire and care, responsibility and work, family and friends. Their words empower us with strength and courage, fill us with verve and spirit, and inspire creativity and imagination.

As Gertrude Stein writes, ‘such a sweet singing’ is in the poetry that comes to us clear and lovely from out of the dark. Spanning the globe, from the 1st century to modern times, the voices in this collection are as relevant and powerful today as when they were first written.

Read these poems aloud. Remember them. Share them.

 

Sex Secrets

Eleanor Tattersfield | £12.99

The perfect Secret Santa gift for your friends, Sex Secrets takes a candid look into how we take our pleasures, from the author of the bestselling Lockdown Secrets. The scurrilous, salacious and often beautifully crafted postcards featured were all sent anonymously to Eleanor’s shop in central London, written by the nation. They reveal illicit liaisons, undisclosed longings, outrageous behaviour, and all manner of weird and wonderful sexual shenanigans. Prepare to get shocked and seduced by this reassuringly explicit book, where truly anything goes!

 

 

 

Perfect Presents from Pitkin:

 

Abbeys and Priories of Britain

Stephen Platten | £9.99

For those who love historic architecture, this book is a fascinating and definitive guide to the best surviving examples of monastic buildings that have inspired visitors from across the world for centuries. A treasury of over 1000 years of architecture and history, this book tells the story of Britain’s most impressive examples of religious buildings, both architecturally and how they shaped an evolving medieval society.

Divided into geographical locations within the early British Kingdom, the book features 67 abbeys and priories from England, Scotland and Wales. From world-famous centres of religion such has Westminster Abbey, to the more quaint example at the Carthusian ‘Mount Grace Priory’ in the North York Moors, explore the huge range of medieval ecclesiastical architecture right across Great Britain. With beautiful colour images and concise and accessible history, this guide is the perfect introduction to Britain’s abbeys and priories and a great starting point for planning next year’s excursions for anyone interested in architecture and heritage.

 

The Crown’s Royal Britain

Gill Knappett | £7.99

With a brand-new series just released on Netflix, this illustrated behind-the-scenes tour of the filming locations for ‘The Crown’ brings to life the recreated romance and intrigue at the heart of our royal family. Covering the first four series, this is the perfect opportunity for any fan of ‘The Crown’ to follow in the footsteps of royalty from location to location. From stunning Ely Cathedral that provides the backdrop to the iconic Westminster Abbey for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding, to Belvoir Castle, Hatfield House, Burghley House and many other examples of fabulous architecture, embark on a Great British adventure to see the best that the country has to offer.

Many of the featured sites on this royal tour of Britain are open to the public, so as well as learning about how these places played their part they are a great opportunity to plan a visit and enjoy the spectacle in person with friends and family this festive season.

 

Bridgerton’s England

Antonia Hicks | £6.99

Launched on Christmas Day 2020, Bridgerton instantly captured the world’s imagination with tales of romance in the Regency. With a spin-off series ‘Queen Charlotte’ set to release early next year, grab a copy of this gorgeous location guide to explore all the key filming sites in the series. Learn about the settings for the Bridgertons, Featheringtons, Lady Danbury, the Duke of Hastings, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Somerset House, Primrose Hill, and the 18th-century dress shop ‘Modiste’ amongst others, with sites including Hampton Court Palace, Bath’s Royal Crescent, The Holborn Museum and Lancaster House to name but a few. For fans of stately homes and sweeping parks, this is the perfect little stocking filler this year.

 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926–2022

Brian Hoey | £9.99

Long did she reign and peacefully may she rest: this beautiful and thoughtful tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the life of a remarkable woman. With 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. In this richly illustrated commemorative book of her life, royal biographer and broadcaster Brian Hoey describes the childhood, accession and coronation of young Elizabeth, and chronicles her extraordinary and dignified transfiguration into beloved wife, mother and grandmother during her seven decades of unflagging service and dedication as Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth.

 

The Beatles’ Liverpool

Mike Haskins | £6.99

For all the Beatles’ fans, and there are so many, explore ‘Beatle Land’ and the iconic sites associated with their rise to fame and stardom. The ‘Fab Four’ were all born and brought up in Liverpool and this illustrated guide reveals why the city was crucial to their musical success. With locations behind hit singles such as ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’, as well as famous music venue The Cavern Club, follow in the footsteps of the legendary band around Liverpool and Merseyside to explore more than 50 sites in the city they called home.

 

Peaky Blinders Location Guide

Antonia Hicks | £6.99

Capturing the world of Tommy Shelby and his racketeering gang from the hit BBC series that has enjoyed worldwide syndication, Peaky Blinders Location Guide reveals over 20 of the most notable sets from all six seasons. Set in the heartland of Britain’s industrial revolution; the West Midlands, the TV series has used locations right across Britain to fully emulate the historic industrial heritage of Birmingham in its 1920s state. Stations, mills, factories and grand houses all feature in this guide, along with Port Sunlight, Manchester’s Town Hall and the banks of the River Wharf. A binge-worthy favourite with so many viewers, pick up a copy of this book while settling into the latest season that is available on BBC Iplayer.

 

A History of Royal Britain in 100 Objects

Gill Knappett | £16.99

With the eyes of the world fixed on Britain’s royal family this year, this glorious book takes a regal journey through the centuries to discover the significance of 100 objects – some famous, others more obscure – that have shaped British history. Over 1000 years of royal history are told through these fascinating objects, from the glory of coronation regalia to coins, medals and stamps; each item in this book has a story to tell. Ordered chronologically by monarch, from Alfred the Great to Queen Elizabeth II, turn the pages to learn about the long and bloody royal history of this nation to the present day.

 

Our books are available from good bookshops and online booksellers. You’ll also find our recommended Christmas gift guide list on Bookshop.org.

 

Here we look back at Pitkin’s 75 years as a publisher of royal books.

Books about British royalty have been a big part of Pitkin’s publishing for over seven decades, with titles ranging from illustrated biographies of members of the royal family to portraits of historical monarchs. The publishing company was founded by Mr Pitkin, a post-war entrepreneur who was devoted to publishing highly illustrated souvenir guidebooks that commemorated special people and events in British history, with a particular focus on memorable royal occasions.

 

Queen Elizabeth II

With her seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has been at the centre of Pitkin’s royal publications for almost the entirety of the publisher’s history, even before her accession.

The young Princess Elizabeth was the subject of the 1947 release Princess Elizabeth’s Wedding Day. The book celebrates the magical wedding day of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, and it was a first in two senses: both the first souvenir guidebook to be published on the royal wedding, and the very first book to be published by Pitkin.

Another major occasion in the Queen’s life and British history which was memorised as a Pitkin book was the Queen’s Coronation. At the age of 25, just over four years after her wedding day, on the 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on the untimely death of her father, King George VI. Her coronation in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 was celebrated in The Queen’s Coronation Day, published by Pitkin shortly after.

During her long reign, The Queen reached many milestones. Recently, the Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, marking 70 years on the throne. This special occasion was celebrated in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Celebration by royal biographer Brian Hoey – a book looking at the highlights and challenges of her long reign. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1921–2022 – a commemorative book celebrating the life and reign of this remarkable woman and monarch is out now.

 

The royal family

While the late Queen Elizabeth has rightfully been at the centre of Pitkin’s royal output over the last decades, other books have looked at the wider royal family. Charles: Prince of Wales by Gill Knappett offers an insight into the private and public life of The Queen’s eldest son and now King Charles III. His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh by Annie Bullen from 2021 is a tribute to the most revered and longest serving consort in British history. The youngest members of the royal family are the focus in Royal Babies by Gill Knappett. A book celebrating new additions to the House of Windsor through history, including a very young Princess Elizabeth born in 1926, Prince Charles, and later William and Harry, as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Royal history through the ages

Pitkin also publishes books on royal history that stretches further back than the House of Windsor. A History of Royal Britain in 100 Objects by Gill Knappett, just published, features over 1000 years of royal history told through 100 objects. From the glory of coronation regalia to coins, from imposing statues to stamps, from distinguished medals to monuments, and from beautiful artworks to Edward VIII’s abdication document, each item has a fascinating story to tell.

You can explore these and more royal books from Pitkin here and on our recommended royal reads list on Bookshop.org.

Long did she reign and peacefully may she rest: a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is publishing next month, celebrating the life of a remarkable woman.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926–2022: A celebration of her life and reign by royal biographer and broadcaster Brian Hoey is a richly illustrated commemorative book. With 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Hoey describes the childhood, accession and coronation of young Elizabeth, and chronicles her extraordinary and dignified transfiguration into beloved wife, mother and grandmother during her seven decades of unflagging service and dedication as Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. He also explains the constitutional roles and public duties of this accomplished stateswoman, conducted with such outstanding grace and professionalism throughout her life.

As the royal family, her country, and countless people around the world prepare to say goodbye, he describes all the honour and ceremony one would expect to be lavished on this cherished sovereign and considers the everlasting effect that her work, life, and legacy will continue to have for many years to come.

This release is the latest in Pitkin’s longstanding and much-loved books on the royal family, which started in 1947 with the release of Princess Elizabeth’s Wedding Day. It was a first in two senses: both the first souvenir guidebook to be published on the royal wedding, and the very first book to be published by Pitkin. 75 years on, Pitkin remains at the forefront of royal publishing, with titles ranging from illustrated biographies of members of the royal family and important occasions to portraits of historical monarchs.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926–2022: A celebration of her life and reign by Brian Hoey is published by Pitkin on 18th October 2022 as a hardback priced at £9.99.

 

About the author

Brian Hoey is the author of over thirty books about royalty, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Celebration and has interviewed many members of the Royal Family including Prince (now King) Charles and the Princess Royal, the late Duke of Edinburgh and Diana, Princess of Wales. An experienced broadcaster, he was one of the BBC’s first royal newscasters and contributes to newspapers and magazines throughout the world on royal matters.

Colouring pencils at the ready! Millie Marotta invites you to a colouring competition to celebrate the release of her new book Island Escape.

Download and print Millie’s Pygmy Sloth here. Get creative with colour and enter it for your chance to win colouring goodies worth over £80, including:

Once you’re happy with your creation, use any of the following methods to enter:

INSTAGRAM
Share your coloured sloth and tag it with #MillieMarottaSloth. (Please note we’ll only be able to see your entry if you have a public profile.)

COLOURING GALLERY
Add it to Millie’s Pygmy Sloth Colouring Competition gallery

FACEBOOK
Post your entry to the Colour and Win with Millie Marotta page (Click ‘Create Post’)

The colouring competition is open worldwide until 23.59 BST, 2 October 2022. Millie will announce 5 winners, picked at random, the following week. Entry is limited to one per person.

If you have any questions about the competition, please email marketing@batsfordbooks.com. Please view the competition terms and conditions here.

Happy colouring!

Millie Marotta’s Island Escape is publishing on the 22nd September. Available to pre-order now.

The final addition to our Batsford Prize Artist Interview series is from textiles student Grace Faichnie, who won the prize for the Applied Art and Textiles category with her piece Beneath the Surface.

Grace is currently finishing her third year studying a BA (Hons) Textiles degree at the Arts University Bournemouth. Her winning creation Beneath the Surface is an under the sea themed textile collection for fashion, inspired by the beauty found beneath us. Created using digital print, fabric manipulation, laser cutting, crochet and stitch, the concept Grace wanted to achieve was bringing this hidden beauty to the surface in response to this year’s theme of ‘Communication and Connection’.

 

Hi Grace, what was your piece about? Can you tell us what initially influenced it and what it means to you?

My project was influenced by the hidden beauty found under the sea. I took lots of primary photographs of fish to help kickstart my inspiration. Being from Jersey in the Channel Islands I am surrounded by the sea which is where my initial ideas came from. The concept I wanted to achieve was bringing this hidden beauty to the surface.

 

What mediums or materials did you decide to use, and why?

Throughout my three-year degree at Arts University Bournemouth I was given the opportunity to explore a wide range of techniques. By doing so I was able to discover which techniques I preferred and was most successful in. Paper manipulation was one of the skills I gained. I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with ideas using paper that I could later translate into fabric to create something more visually exciting. This technique is one I have carried all the way through my degree as part of my development process for each project. Other techniques I used included sublimation print, laser cutting, crochet, stitch and fabric manipulation.

 

What made you want to study textiles?

I have always had a love for textiles. I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting from a young age and my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet. I studied textiles at GCSE and A Level which I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to explore further at university.

 

What are your biggest artistic inspirations? Are there other artists who you admire or who inspire you?

There are many artists who have inspired me through my textiles journey. Artists and collections that have particularly inspired me include Bella Tela because of their innovative designs and use of iridescent fabric, Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2013 collection for his fabric manipulation, Versace’s Spring 2010 collection for his laser cut, reflective fabrics and influence of origami. I admired Prada for Miuccia’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection inspired by Las Vegas lights and uses a neon colour palette, Issey Miyake’s Spring/Summer 1997 collection that used sublimation print, fabric manipulation and fluorescent colours and Mary Katrantzou’s Autumn/Winter collection that uses print, appliqué and graphic shapes. Tatty Devine is a company that specialises in laser cut jewellery pieces which particularly inspired me during my third year.

 

How would you describe your style? Would you say that it has changed over time?

I would describe my style as high end women’s fashion that has a playful, contemporary feel to it. My style has definitely changed over time. It has matured and improved and become something that best represents me as a designer.

 

What does winning the Batsford Prize Applied Art & Textiles Award mean to you?

When I began my textiles course at university I remember being shown a PowerPoint of awards that previous students had won. I was so impressed by their variety of achievements and thought it must be amazing to achieve an award. It was a wonderful surprise to hear of the award during the same week I received my degree results. It has been a challenging few years adapting to working during the pandemic so it feels extra special to be recognised for my work.

I want to thank my tutor Anne Marie Howat for pushing me to enter competitions throughout the year as I could not  have done it without her. I am so grateful for winning the Batsford Prize especially as my university experience comes to a close!

 

After you have completed your studies, what do you see yourself doing next?

I would love to work for a women’s fashion brand as this is something I have specialised in from GCSE level and I am currently applying for jobs within this industry.

 

Find out more about Grace’s work here and follow her on instagram.

 

About the Batsford Prize

The Batsford Prize is an annual award open for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of applied art and textiles, fine art and illustration. View the winners and runners up of this year’s award here. The theme for the Batsford Prize 2023 will be revealed shortly…

So there we have all of our incredible winners from this year’s categories, and we are looking forward to inspiring you for the Batsford Prize 2023!

Interviews for the other winning categories are available to read here:

Artist Interview: Wuon Gean Ho, Batsford Prize 2022 Illustration Winner
Artist Interview: Annie Booker, Batsford Prize 2022 – People’s Choice Award Winner
Artist Interview: Nelson, Batsford Prize 2022 – Fine Art Winner
Artist Interview: Justin Worsley, Batsford Prize 2022 – Children’s Illustration Winner