Garner, Alan

Alan Garner burst onto the scene in 1960 at the age of twenty-six with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, a Tolkienesque children's fantasy based on his local area, Cheshire in north west England around the towns of Macclesfield and Wilmslow, and particularly the brooding lump of Alderley Edge. He followed this with a pair of sequels, The Moon of Gomrath and Elidor and finally the Welsh-flavoured The Owl Service based around the ancient stories of The Mabinogion.
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Elidor, 1st edn 1966 (2nd printing) (Alan Garner)Jacket illustration by Charles Keeping.

Note: this jacket is price-clipped.

ReproJacket #177-B-1, size 214.4x503mm.
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The Moon of Gomrath, 1st edn 1963 (Alan Garner)In 1963 Garner followed up his success with The Wizard of Brisingamen with The Moon of Gomrath, in which Susan and Colin have to do it all again.

Jacket design by George Adamson.

ReproJacket #38-A-1, size 213.9x503mm.
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The Owl Service, 1st edn 1967 (Alan Garner)Following Elidor, Garner's next book was aimed at adolescents, a retelling of one of the ancient stories from the book of traditional Welsh folk tales, The Mabinogion. It won the Carnegie Medal for 1967.

Jacket design by Kenneth Farnhill.

ReproJacket #83-A-1, size 215.8x496mm.
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, 1st edn 1960 (Alan Garner)This is the first issue dustjacket for the first edition of Garner's first book (firsty work, then!) with a marvellous illustration by George Adamson of one of the book's leading characters, the dwarf Fenodyree.

The publisher, Collins and later Harper Collins, varied the size of this book slightly for the different printings of this first edition. The width of the boards was first reduced, bringing the title perilously close to the edge, and later the height was increased; board height equals jacket height, of course, so the jacket dimension was increased accordingly. Before ordering one of the ReproJackets, please measure the height of your book and choose a jacket which matches it. The height of this 1960 ReproJacket is 8.4" (214mm).

Jacket design by George Adamson.

ReproJacket #31-A-1, size 214.3x500mm.
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, 1st edn 1977 (4th printing) (Alan Garner)The 1977 impression has boards which are slightly narrower than the 1960 1st printing, which means that the folds occur at different points in the artwork. This jacket is also 1mm higher than the original.

The artwork has more saturated colours now, but nothing like the vividness of the much later 1996 Harper Collins printing below.

Jacket design by George Adamson.

ReproJacket #31-D-1, size 214.9x489mm.
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, 1st edn 1996 (9th printing) (Alan Garner)The 1996 impression from Harper Collins has a much more vibrant version of Adamson's well-known artwork for this title. A pixel-by-pixel comparison of the earlier versions against this one shows that the brushwork is identical -- it's only the colour rendition which has changed. Most likely this is caused by an improvement in the reprographic technology available, aided by this edition being printed on brilliant white gloss paper.

Note that this impression has gained several millimetres in height over the 1977 impression; the original artwork did not support this extra height, and the bleed areas have been utilised. These are areas which have been added to the original artwork so that it expands over the trimmed edges, and it's common to add a mirrored border to achieve this. You can see the effect here at the foot of the spine, where part of the original publisher's name appears again inverted at the very bottom!

Jacket design by George Adamson.

ReproJacket #31-I-1, size 221.4x488mm.