A. A. Turbayne


A blue/green cloth with a gilt pattern

7½ x 5 inches

This book is one of the rivals to ‘Peacock Series’ issued by Macmillan in the mid 90s. Published by Service and Paton, one of the smaller houses of the time, it seeks to occupy the same territory as its larger competitor. It is interesting to see that Service managed to use Turbayne, Macmillan’s signature artist; no doubt the intention was to exploit the pre-existing market for his celebrated ‘Peacock’ series, and on first glance the book is indistinguishable from its rival series. Though less well-produced than the Macmillan imprints, notably in the usage of a cheap and relatively coarse cloth, this cover is one of the most interesting of Turbayne’s designs. Less congested than usual, the composition is linked to the book’s contents, celebrating Scott’s faux-Scottish-ness in the form of radiating thistles and spiky leaves. Carefully balanced and elegant, the binding may have been an acknowledgement of the artist’s Caledonian ancestry. . .

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Photograph and text by Simon Cooke

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