I am reminded of illustrator Tony Meeuwissen, who this month has a restrospective at the Museum in The Park in Stroud, Gloucestershire, where he has made his home for many years. Searching in The Unmitigated Archive this morning this book fell into my hands. Without doubt it's one of my favourite book covers, a witty and beautifully executed illustration that turns images of estate or 'model' village buildings into an intact plastic kit of parts. Meeuwissen always has a penchant for the cottage ornee style, giving as it does decorative bargeboarding and characterful windows and chimney pots so suited to his meticulous style. This is the 1978 paperback cover, sadly not reprinted for the latest version, but I expect there will be copies hidden away in dusty bookshops and dusty internet sites. And I can also thoroughly recommend the contents. Gillian Darley has written what must be the definitive book on villages that instead of growing organically over centuries were artificially introduced by 'aesthetic, philanthropic or political reasons'. But keep looking at that cover. You'll find something new every time you look, and there's more about Model Behaviour on page 64 of More from Unmitigated England.
Evergreen Review: Literary legacy
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