Flowers From a Painter's Garden: The Watercolours of Paul Gell (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1983. $42.95). This collection of sixty-eight Watercolour flower-paintings from an English garden evokes a European nostalgia for the vibrant seasonal changes which we do riot experience here. Each sensitive watercolour has accompanying notes from the artist's diary, as well as botanical notes by Ronald King, the Secretary of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
The High Kings: Arthur's Celtic Ancestors, by Joy Chant. (Allen & Unwin, 1983. $39.95). This richly-illustrated story book bridges the gap ill children's reading between childhood and adolescence. The legends are written in a sophisticated manner, and the proliferation of excellent coloured illustrations makes the information accessible as vvell as exciting. The book begins with a discussion of the verbal tradition, and goes on to look at the historical precedents for these legends.
ABC. A New Way of Seeing, by Arlene Alda. (Celestial Arts, 1983.) Arlene Alda is probably better known to us as the wife of Alan AIda, the actor. She is a professional photographer, and is interested in children's books. This little book tells the story of the alphabet in everyday things. 'O' is the headlamp of a car, 'R' is the coil in a hose, L is the shape of a road. In colour, and in a compact paper-back format, this book would bean ideal addition to any pre-schooler's library.
The Erotic Arts, by Peter Webb. (Seeker& Warburg, 1983. $25.75) First printed in 1978, this new edition in paperback covers the history of erotica in art from the ancient and primitive to eroticism in the twentieth century. There is a discussion on film censorship, and illustrations from the restricted collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum as new additions. The book is lavishIy illustrated in black-and-white.
Byker: Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen. (Jonathan Cape, 1983 $13.75.) John Wesley apparently exclaimed, in 1790, that the English village of Byker was his vision of paradise. The photographer/author of this account of Byker today may well be giving its a version of modern paradise! The photographs are a documentary account of a working class suburb, filled with turn-of-the-century semi-detached houses and tenements.
The Great Photographers Series. Cecil Beaton, Julia Margaret Cameron, Ernst Haas, Thomas Hopker, Donald McCullin, Man Ray, Peter Turner (Collins, 1983. $12.95 each) In this series we are given a range of photographs since the nineteen-twenties. These are inexpensive and well printed paperbacks on the lives of great photographers. Where colour is required, colour is used, and each has an accompanying introduction about the life and work of the artist.