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Book Editions and Cover Illustrations: Part Two

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Prydain-Chronicles

The 1990s single-volume collection, with a collage of scenes from The High King.

This is the second of a two-part article which catalogs the various printings of the eight books in the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander: the five Chronicles of Prydain books proper, and the three publications that now comprise The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain. Holt, Rinehart and Winston published one book of the Chronicles annually in hardback from 1964 to 1968. Dell Yearling then published the books in paperback beginning in 1969.

The Foundling... was first published in 1973, with six stories; since 1983 the collection has included eight, including two storybooks originally published as single titles under the "Owlet" imprint at Holt, Rinehart.

Evaline Ness provided the cover art for each of the first editions of these eight books, and the interior art of the first two storybooks. Margot Zemach drew the interior illustrations of the first edition of The Foundling.... Later editions of the Chronicles have featured covers by fantasy-art luminaries such as Don Maitz, Jody Lee and the Walt Disney Studios animators.

This page, Part Two, catalogs the final books in the series: Taran Wanderer, The High King and the three publications that now comprise The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain. Part One catalogs the first three books in the series: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron and The Castle of Llyr.

Taran Wanderer

T W

Publisher
Holt, Rinehart and Winston (US)
Publication date
November 1967
Media type
Print (hardcover & paperback)
Pages
256 pp (hardcover 1st ed.); 272 pp (paperback)
ISBN
ISBN 0-8050-1113-7 (first edition)
OCLC Number     
  244128642
LC Classification
PZ7.A3774 Tar
TaranWanderer1

The Dell 1970s cover by Don Maitz.

The 1st ed. hardback of November 1967 features art by Evaline Ness (see infobox at right), apparently in a mixed-media collage of cut-outs in pencil, ink and tempera. Dell Yearling, "by arrangement with Holt, Rinehart", reprinted this cover in paperback. The flat, cartoony style was in vogue at the time, its lively composition conveying a whimsical feel.


Taran Wanderer2

The Laurel-Leaf cover art (with more recent frame) by artist Jean Leon Huens.

By the Seventh Dell Printing in December 1980, the cover art has been replaced by Don Maitz's more realistic if traditional watercolor painting.


In July 1980 Dell Laurel-Leaf printed new, pocket-book editions with art by Jean Leon Huens. These were extremely popular items, with many editions through the middle 1980s.


Taran wanderer

The 2000s cover by David Wyatt.

Taran-wanderer-tp

The 1990s cover by Jody Lee.

In April 1990 Dell Yearling began printing gorgeous new covers illustrated by Jody Lee in watercolor and colored pencils. Ms. Lee's vibrant colors enhance the nuanced and highly realistic portraiture.


A newer edition put out by Square Fish  -- a Macmillan imprint representing the best of Henry Holt's backlists -- appeared in August 2011, with a digital cover painting by David Wyatt. The piece is impressively detailed.

The cover of the first printing shows Taran at Hevydd's anvil, proud of his new-made sword. Yet the scene most often depicted on the various covers is Taran's defiant stance against the evil sorcerer Morda. Maitz's wizard is commanding, even graceful amidst sparse surroundings; Huens gives us a cadaverous horror of a spell-caster. Lee, on the other hand, employs a montage of Taran holding his handmade ceramic bowl, alongside a most convincing portrait of Gurgi, while leading an imposing Melynlas; while in the background the hero's various father figures -- Coll and Dallben at left, Craddoc at right -- seem to occupy his thoughts. Wyatt, like Maitz and Huens, illustrates the Morda confrontation, but here Taran is more cowed, and some elements of the scene -- such as the caged hare and crow, and the tiny freed mouse -- were never seen in previous versions.


T W2

An unknown edition shows a rare montage of scenes from the book.


Entries on The High King and The Foundling are forthcoming.

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