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Brian Cook's Landscapes of Britain Hardcover – 11 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Batsford (11 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906388784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906388782
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 27.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Brian Cook is the nephew of the late Harry Batsford, chairman of the family publishing firm from 1917 to 1952. He himself became chairman of the company in 1952. His design work, almost exclusively for Batsford, was pioneering and timeless.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A timely publication of Brian Cook's wonderful, exuberant dust-jackets for Batsford's English town and countryside books from the Thirties and Forties. The only other book about his work was published by Batsford in 1987 and I thought it had a serious editorial flaw in showing so much of his work in mono. The 108 illustrations in the book only had forty-eight in colour, though, admittedly, several of the black and whites were of Cook's lovely pen and ink illustrations. The book is well out of print and expensive but this latest book is so much better because it is all in colour.

One feature in the 1987 book really should have been used in this new title: an explanation of the Jean Berte printing process. This gave the Batsford covers their unique look. The process used rubber plates and five waterproof inks, the three primary colours, grey and black as a fifth working to tighten up the look of the designs and for the type. It was the overprinting of these flat colours that created the rich, vibrant designs. Perhaps more importantly to the look of the covers was the fact that the rubber plates were cut by hand which meant that the design had to be fairly easy to create. Fine lines were only possible in black.

It still needed the creativity of Brian Cook to decide what colours to use for each cover. I was always impressed by his use of solid mauve for hills and trees and the way the really bright yellow almost jumped off some covers. These books must really have stood out in bookshops back then.

The book is a wonderful page-turner and every page sparkles with remarkable cover artwork.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. J. Atkins on 13 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a fabulous book showcasing the iconic art style reminiscent to me of the numerous railway, bus and underground travel posters of a bygone age. The colours are vibrant and cheerful enabling one to see the countryside in a rather different, stylised and somewhat rose-tinted manner. My one criticism is that so many pictures have so-called "detail" images depicted on facing pages. These "details" are scarcely larger than the actual detail within the complete and superbly delineated original images, thereby making them entirely redundant. The many pages thus wasted could have been so much better utilised in showing more of Brian Cook's work, assuming there is more. I know there is at least one more because I have seen in it in one of Peter Ashley's "Unmitigated England" books.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Midlander on 29 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the years, I collected a number of the Batsford books on the British countryside. The dust-jackets, when I got them at all, were often tatty but I still admired the work of Brian Cooke who designed so many of them. as he would - a member of the Batsford family and latterly company Chairman!
His poster-like style was well suited to book covers and captured the countryside in a way that somehow manages to be both both literal and impressionist at the same time.
I was too slow to by the previous tribute to hos work which quickly went out-of-print and as expensive and collectable as good copies of the Company's original books. So I snapped up this expanded new work and advise anyone else who loves the countryside to do the same.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Culley on 1 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely book, a fine tribute to the 'throw-away' dust-jacket art that is a big part of selling a book. Excellent colour reproduction makes it a delight to turn the pages, and the 'posterisation' art technique seems very suited to the British landscape. I would have liked to know a bit about the printing process though.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris M. on 22 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a proud owner of the 1987 book 'The Britain of Brian Cook' I was intrigued to see how different, and indeed how much better this book could be than the original. Well sadly, it ain't. The first thing to note is that the 40 page introduction to the 1987 edition has been almost entirely dispensed with, and replaced with six pages of fairly bland text. The plates are now all in colour, but somehow I feel there's less illustrative content in this new edition. Indeed it strikes me as a dumbed-down coffee-table version of its predecessor. The quality of reproduction varies from excellent to merely acceptable, with one or two pictures looking suspicuously as if scanned out of the 1987 edition. Some of the captions are bland in the extreme and follow an annoyingly repetitive format; "A calm depiction of . . .", "A moody view of . . " Not enough of the early Batford jackets (from the 1930s and 40s) have been reproduced, whilst space has been found for Cook's seemingly less assured cover designs for the repackaged Little Guides of the 1950s. As other reviewers have said, the 'enlargements' from some designs are utterly pointless and smacks of filling space for the sake of it. This adds to the impression that this book has not been put together with the necessary love and care, just bodged together; in the old days this was called 'scissors and paste' publishing. So all in all a bit of a disappointment, perhaps symptomatic of the fact that Batsford is now merely an imprint of a much larger publishing group and no longer autonomous. I suspect copies of "The Britain of Brian Cook" will happily hold their value, whilst this book seems destined for the remaindered shelves . . .
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