Lavishly illustrated for the first time by Guernsey artist Charlie Buchanan/Late 2022
“Coated with sea salt, its crannies spilling wildflowers, Edwards’ book still roars like some huge sea shell held, cutting, against your ear.”
Gerald Basil Edwards wrote only one book, it was published, posthumously, in 1981, and was an immediate worldwide literary sensation. As one critic wrote, ” Every so often there comes along a novel so good that one actually feels grateful to be alive and to have had the chance to read it…”
Edwards’ fictional Guernseyman, Ebenezer Le Page guides us through his life, and through a century of change, concealing the theme of the novel in “a river of sharply observed seemingly trivial events”. It is as John Fowles wrote in his introduction; “ a remarkable achievement…the book’s voice and its methods are so unusual that it belongs nowhere on our conventional literary maps… but we no longer care how inconsequential or digressive the story becomes, as long as that voice is still speaking.
This edition is designed to give Guernsey’s greatest literary masterpiece the presentation it deserves and to put it firmly back on the literary map.
Charlie is the artist tasked with the enviable challenge of reimagining G.B Edwards’ masterwork. Charlie‘s love affair with the book began in a dusty second hand bookshop in New Zealand in 2002 when she picked up a well-thumbed copy of the 1982 paperback edition. The copy had a white cover and in the centre was a picture of Ebenezer, the eponymous Guernseyman. For Charlie, the book was like a magic portal transporting her home – away from the rolling surf of Gisbourne and back to the turquoise waters of her home. Three
months later, she set foot in Guernsey once again and a dream to illustrate this most beautiful and moving of literary works was born.
There will be 13 stunning full colour illustrations, each carefully informed by Charlie’s love of the text. Each image is a stand-alone painting painstakingly produced by Charlie over the last two years, taking the reader through Ebenezer’s life and highlighting key moments throughout the book. A stunning illustrated map will provide a structure for the narrative and put the story beautifully in context
Type set by award winning book designer Paul Harpin and printed on a heavyweight acid-free archival quality paper the book features Charlie’s stunning illustrations. She has also designed the specially made end-papers, showing a map of Guernsey with the locations that were so important to Ebenezer and a family tree of the Le Pages and the Martels.
The book will be released in 3 distinct editions in late 2022 after launching at The Guernsey Literary Festival in June. All the following editions are available at the subscriber price now.
THE ISLAND EDITION
The Island Edition is bound in cloth with gold blocking and is released in a hand numbered, limited edition of 350 copies. Subscriber price £45.
Each copy has the opening lines of the book gold blocked on the spine and a map of Guernsey on the cover.
THE LEATHER BOUND EDITION
The Leather Bound Edition is quarter bound, by hand, in leather, with specially commissioned hand-made marble cover papers reflecting the sea and rocks around Guernsey. The spine and cover are gold blocked and the book is presented in a cloth-covered gold blocked slipcase. Each of the 150 hand numbered copies will be signed by the artist and the subscriber price is £245
THE EXEMPLARY EDITION
The Exemplary Edition will be limited to 26 hand-lettered copies at a subscriber price of £950.
Each copy will be fully bound in leather by hand with gold blocking to the spine and cover. The end papers will be especially commissioned marble papers in blue, red and brown, reflecting the sea and rocks around Guernsey. The map of Guernsey will be printed in large format and tipped into the bookEach exemplary is hand lettered and signed by both the artist and the rights holder. The book is presented in a cloth cover and gold blocked solander box and within a recess in the box each copy will come complete with a piece of original artwork created by Charlie during the preparation of the illustrations.
The Invasion of the Wavelets, 2018
An original Guernsey folktale mined from the glorious folklore recorded by Marie de Garis, this new book by Magnus and Charlie Buchanan is out this December. The book launches with a major show of all 17 original watercolour paintings in association with Art for Guernsey, in the Inner Market, St Peter Port Guernsey December 12th 2018.
Osmond the Owl Boy, 2015
Osmond the Owl Boy is a dark fairytale imagined and illustrated by Charlie Buchanan due for publication in 2015. It tells the tale of Osmond, a little boy who discovers he is descended from owls then faces all the trials and tribulations of being different. The story is loosely set on the beautiful Channel Island of Sark and takes inspiration from one of the island’s most famous creatives, Mervyn Peake and his novella Mr Pye. The tale is a hymn to self-discovery and self-realisation, with 16 ink illustrations which draw on the starlit beauty of the island and the dark corners of all our psyches. Charlie’s co-creator Magnus has set the tale in 14 simple yet irreverent rhyming couplets as we follow Osmond from his unconventional arrival to his daring and dangerous fight with a monster form the Venus pool. As J.R.R. Tolkien once said there is no such thing as writing for children: Charlie’s new work takes readers aged 1-100 on a dark journey where bravery and being yourself are the metaphorical wings to let you fly free. As with Charlie’s first book The Soul of the Sea, the book has been beautifully designed by artist and graphic designer James Colmer. Please see Charlie’s contact page for information on pre-ordering the book which is due for release in April 2015.
The Soul of The Sea, 2013
This all began one Christmas morn
When snow lay on the ground,
The Island like an empty page
The bells the only sound.
So begins the eerie voice which retells the story of Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel The Toilers of the Sea in the form of an epic ballad. Hugo wrote the book while exiled on the island of Guernsey during the late 19th century. In this new version adapted by Magnus Buchanan in over 250 stanzas, readers will meet or rediscover all of Hugo’s unforgettable characters – the stoic fisherman Gilliat, the fickle beauty Deruchette and the treacherous Captain Clubin. However, arguably the most memorable presence of all in the tale is that of the sea, personified here as a femme fatale luring the unsuspecting towards a watery tomb. Charlie Buchanan’s co-creator Magnus’ version takes inspiration from Hugo’s lyrical descriptions to capture the blend of infatuation and fear at the heart of every mariner’s relationship with this most seductive of deities. Meanwhile, many of the story’s key moments are illustrated by Charlie’s lavish illustrations capturing the dramatic scope of Hugo’s vision. The book is beautifully designed by artist and graphic designer James Colmer.
The Toilers of the Sea is arguably one of Guernsey’s greatest myths; experienced deck hands and first time voyagers alike will find much to lure them back to its siren call in this new version. Please see the contact page for information on purchasing the book.