Cyrano de Bergerac’s 17th Century tale of space travel has been republished as a collectors edition by the Folio Society, with new illustrations by Quentin Blake.
To coincide with the publication, House of Illustration brings together Blake’s illustrations for the French literary classic for the first time.
Considered the first true forerunner of science fiction, Voyages is a collection of Bergerac’s wildly inventive early sci-fi classics. These extraordinary texts have been a personal favourite of Blake’s for over 40 years. With their ‘nasally-gifted’ comic protagonist, characters flying with (and without) various cobbled-together machines, wildly gesticulating nude giants and a kingdom of birds, Cyrano’s fantasies could have been tailor-made for him.
After spontaneously illustrating elements of the text without any commission, Quentin produced a complete – and very extensive – illustration of both texts for the Folio Society in 1991.
Now, over 25 years on, he has revisited his original images, redrawing, replacing and adding to them, as well as creating a new binding and slipcase.
Quentin Blake: Voyages to the Moon and the Sun will be at House of Illustration from 4 May until 30 September, from 10am – 6pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. One ticket covers admission to all exhibitions that are open on the day, and you can purchase your tickets here.