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The stunning, specially commissioned cover illustrations are one of the great joys of the New Naturalist series, lending it a distinctive style which has inspired nature enthusiasts for many decades.
The Collins New Naturalist series is the longest-running and arguably the most influential natural history series in the world with over 100 volumes published in over 60 years. Throughout the years, the highly characteristic dust jacket illustrations have become iconic, lifting the books to a level of collectibility and increasing the level of admiration for an already well-established and respected series.
With early cover illustrations prepared by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, later and more recent covers have been designed by Robert Gillmor. Featuring prints of the awe-inspiring artwork of the New Naturalists, the book will offer a unique insight into Gillmor's approach to each subject matter and the intricate and creative way through which he has brought his own distinctive style and craft of printmaking to the New Naturalist series.
Marren explores the findings from the Ellis archive, which has thrown up considerable information on how the old covers were developed, approved, in some cases rejected, and then proofed.
The Art of the New Naturalists offers a fascinating insight into how the creation of these eminent cover designs has developed and progressed and will be essential reading for everyone interested in the frantic workings behind the seemingly serene collection of artwork that is one of Britain's iconic book series.
Peter Marren is a trained ecologist who worked as a woodland scientist, conservation officer and author-editor with the Natural Conservancy Council between 1977 and 1992. He has written numerous books and articles and contributes regularly to British Wildlife and the Independent.
Robert Gillmor started his long career as an illustrator at the age of 15 with drawings for the monthly British Birds magazine. He illustrated the first of over 100 books in 1958, while an art student at Reading University. In 1964 he helped found the Society of Wildlife Artists, for which he has served as Secretary and Chairman for many years. He has been creating the cover artwork for the New Naturalist series since first being approached by Collins in 1985.