Beautiful books that last a lifetime
Ask the book buyer about
The gift of luxury edition books
Some books you read and pass on, some get dog-eared, kept on the shelf for re-reading or sentimental value. But there are certain books so skilfully designed and printed and full of treasures inside that you want them in pride of place, always. I’m talking about beautiful editions: hardbacks, coffee table books with stunning photography, intricate covers or stylish binding and design.
Production values today mean there are some truly luxurious books available, the thrill of which will last a lifetime. And beautifully printed books have a special place in Jarrold’s history too, as for decades in the 20th century we were printers and publishers ourselves, using pioneering printing techniques.
Here are some ideas for luxury gift books, ideal for special Christmas presents or as a treat for yourself this winter. Browse more online and instore.
Ps. Do listen out for us on BBC Radio Norfolk this Tuesday, 3rd November from 10.20 as we reveal the winners of our 250 Jarrold Stories competition and hear excerpts from the winning stories.
Derek Jarman: Protest!
This book is typical of the high-end production values of publisher Thames & Hudson, who bring us art, lifestyle, design, fashion, music and history books. Back when they were founded in 1949, Herbert ‘John’ Jarrold (1906-1979) was one of the first shareholders and Jarrold’s cutting-edge printing technology would be vital to Thames & Hudson’s success.
Today Jarrold is no longer a printer but we are proud to stock Thames & Hudson titles and a favourite of mine is this incredible new overview of British artist Derek Jarman’s life and work, covering all aspects of his oeuvre from film, painting and design to poetry, gardening and activism. There are previously unseen works from all stages of his career and a wide range of essays to accompany them including from Peter Tatchell, Olivia Laing, Philip Hoare and Sir Norman Rosenthal. It’s on my Christmas list (hint hint)!
Strata: William Smith’s Geological Maps
Foreword by Robert MacFarlane
This book is a work of art in itself – a thing to behold, with an uncoated board cover overlaid with a section of Smith’s map down the spine. Another Thames & Hudson offering it showcases the original 1815 hand-coloured map by William Smith, ‘the father of English geology’. For anyone who loves maps, nature, geology, or indeed simply beautiful books, this will provide hours, days, weeks of intrigue. The book is organised into four sections exploring the map with related geological cross-sections, county maps and fossil illustrations. As well as an introduction from naturalist Robert MacFarlane the sections are interleaved with essays by leading academics exploring subjects from cartography to agriculture. Sumptuous colour illustrations and detail to pore over, this really is a book of a lifetime.
Dior Catwalk: The Complete Collections
For the fashion-lover. 2019 saw the landmark exhibition at The V & A Museum, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Published to coincide with it but selling steadily ever since is this sumptuous, cloth-bound book from Thames & Hudson, gathering together for the first time, every Dior haute couture collection and including collections after the arrival of John Galliano. With original catwalk photography (black and white through to colour) and an extensive reference collection, it offers an ‘unrivalled overview’ of the fashion house and brand. Alongside the amazing imagery there is a concise history of Dior, going on to explore, chronologically, each collection and its significance. The design of the book is as stylish as the clothes, a rich grey with striking white titles. Beautiful.
This was the first volume in the Catwalk series (and looks excellent side by side with Dior!), which now also includes Alexander McQueen (available to order). Once again, a chic, stylish book, cloth-bound in black with silver lettering, inside revealing incredible catwalk photography and a definitive history of every Chanel collection ever created by Karl Lagerfeld. Since original publication, this revised edition has been updated to include Lagerfeld’s final collections for the house and those of his successor Virginie Viard – 28 further collections. As with Dior, there is an extensive reference section and a chronological exploration of the significance of each collection.
James WP Campbell
A book lover’s dream. Another personal favourite – a subject close to my heart – and the perfect coffee table book, is this beautiful, wide-ranging architectural volume that tells the story of the library as a distinct type of building, all around the world, from the beginnings of writing to the present day. Campbell is an architectural historian and together with the book’s photographer, Will Pryce, they travelled the world to document eighty libraries for the book, exploring their designs, from the libraries of ancient Rome to those of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. The story is full of fascinating gems and the photographs are atmospheric and absorbing.
Back for another Christmas, we are delighted to be stocking the exquisitely designed, highly collectable Chiltern Classics, with additions this year to the collection including A Christmas Carol, Dracula, Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Only available from selected stockists, Chiltern Classics are all small-sized hardback editions with sparkling gilt inlays and spines and creamy paper. At the risk of alienating anyone who isn’t thinking about Christmas yet, I’ll just say they would look absolutely gorgeous under the tree!
The Wolf Hall Trilogy
Mantel fans might be bemoaning the end of an era now that her gripping Cromwell trilogy has drawn to a close. But here is a pretty awesome consolation prize – a grandly produced hardback boxset of the trilogy, presented in a black slipcase with the immortal opening words of Wolf Hall on the side; ‘So now get up’. The publisher describes the boxset as a ‘perfect adornment to any serious booklover’s shelves’, which I agree with, but I also think it’s the perfect way to honour a set of stories that have beguiled and impressed so many readers, me included, and won Mantel two Booker prizes along the way.
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
J.R.R Tolkein, edited by Christopher Tolkein
This is a must for Tolkein-lovers, just published this October and sure to be on many Christmas lists. Produced to celebrate its 40th anniversary, this is the first ever illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales, a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, providing those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories. There are 18 full-colour paintings by celebrated Tolkien artists, Alan Lee, John Howe & Ted Nasmith plus there is additional commentary from Christopher Tolkein, contextualising his father’s writings. Every detail has been thought of, from the Middle-earth map endpapers to the grey ribbon bookmark. It is a handsome book that would thrill any fantasy fan!
Prices and availability checked Wednesday 28 October 2020