Illustrated book cover of the day by Ronald A. Glendening

I’m back sorting through our house library on Hydra. A library which goes back to 1950 when my grandparents, Christian Heidsieck and Lily Mak moved here to make a ceramics workshop in their Kamini home. I’ve spent the last 8 years sifting through some 1,000 books in ten or so languages.

I’d thought I’d start posting some of my favourite book covers, often by slightly unknown/forgotten illustrators. This one here is a cover by Ronald A. GLENDENING (1926-2013) for Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a lonely Hunter.

Glendening was born in London, studied painting and printmaking at the Royal College of Art, was a painter, lithographer and film-maker, and supposedly the grandson of the painter Alfred Augustus Glendening. Here below is a lithograph print of his of Sydney Street Canal, Bath:

I’ve repeatedly been drawn back to looking at this cover; one immediately senses the American Deep South from the architecture, the raised veranda and the African musician. But the figure on the right is also compelling: like one of John Minton’s profiled and enigmatic foreground figures, there’s a gentle mystery about him, perhaps one can’t first put it into words but when you discover he’s a deaf mute, it makes sense. Sadly he can’t hear the music in the background, and can’t see any colours, let alone the black and white of the lithograph print… or can he? Perhaps there’s a sixth sense at work. I love it. Thank you Glendening for being an illustrator!

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