Event: The Folio Society share their new titles for the Spring, bringing together authors, illustrators and book enthusiasts for one beautiful event
Who: I got the invited by The Folio Society’s PR consultancy firm FMcM. However, the event was hosted by The British Library and The Folio Society who interestingly enough will again be collaborating from the 8th until 9th March for inaugural ‘Folio Prize Fiction Festival’ (buy tickets here).
When: Thursday 13th February
Where: It was held in the Folio Gallery of the absolutely stunning British Library.
Refreshments: Greeted with white wine, which was circulated quite regularly, I was then introduced to a range of delicious and beautifully presented canapés. These ranged from mini chicken tikka wraps, vegetarian sushi (with a dangerously strong wasabi!), sweet potato sticks with a tzatziki dip to an adorable mini pulled pork burger all topped off with a calorific chocolate brownie.
Freebies: The goodie bag was superior, containing a selection of notelets bearing Shakespearean quotes, a Parker ball point pen and of course a Folio edition novella all encased in a long-life purple Folio bag
After traipsing through the wind and rain, thank the lord there wasn’t a TFL strike to boot, I arrived at The British Library with the feeling that I really should come here more often. Ditching about ten layers of clothing and a golfing umbrella in the cloakroom it was time to immerse myself amongst the lovely people of the Folio Society.
I should point out that I knew no one there so slightly daunted I accepted a passing glass of white wine and headed to the Spring Folio book stand. I can’t really impress on you enough how stunning and what high quality these illustrated editions are and the one I was most interested in seeing was ‘The Day of the Jackal’, which didn’t disappoint with its shadow-like illustrations and dark cover jacket created by the ridiculously talented Tatsuro Kiuchi. Another I was particularly interested in was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, illustrated by Folio favorite Santiago Caruso who captured the Gothic themes running through the tale wonderfully.
After admiring the display I found myself mingling near the string quartet, classy touch, where I bumped into one of the illustrators Charlotte Orr, a recent art graduate who had won the opportunity to begin her illustrious career during her third year. Her skill and style can be discovered in the pages of the Folio spring edition of, The Dynasties of China by Barbara Gascoigne.
The speeches kicked off with an introduction from Baroness Blackston, Chairman of the British Library before she passed over to Toby Hartwell the managing director of the Folio Society. Toby waxed lyrical about the Folio Society before informing us of the exciting news that there will be an ‘inaugural’ Folio Festival prior to the ‘inaugural’ Folio Prize results event and all taking place within the 3 days between the 8th and the 10th March! Tickets for this event can (and will) be purchased from The British Library website.
After this announcement we were introduced to Lawrence Norfolk who has penned the introduction to The Voyage of Argo and who after a brief but interesting speech passed us on to the fantastically talented John Vernon Lord, illustrator of Finnegans Wake and who recounted stories and anecdotes, peppered with jokes, that endeared and entertained without reserve.
At the close of the speeches I noticed that my friend had arrived so we took another couple of turns around the room where I had the pleasure of introducing myself to FMcM’s CEO Fiona, before sneaking off for another selection of canapés, a couple more glasses of white wine and another look at the beautiful books.
All in all a fabulous evening filled with freakishly talented people and beautiful books!
Rating: 8 out of 10 – these books should be top of your ideas list for book loving family members, friends or even just as a treat to yourself check them out now!