Poetry Books

Novels

Piers has carved out a reputation as a traditional landscape painter-etcher - more recently of seascapes oils too, but is known also for his handmade books - to date three of the 8 books he has done are 'handmade' in editions of no more than 25, real collector's items.

What is  special is his ability to write POETRY, some acclaimed, and to illustrate it - which convinced the Bodleian  (Weston library now) Museum in Oxford & Cambridge University Library plus seven  'private' patrons to buy 10 of 20 of this about 19" (49cm) high x 12 (31cm) wide handmade book 'Sonnets for a Siren' shown below.
The edition 20,  handmade as the type is handset by Hand & Eye Letterpress in London and the etchings are all original and bound in equal amounts. There are illustrated with 21 etchings mainly in monochrome 27 sonnets.
There are some of this book left: in a leather binding (as below) there is one still left, while in buckram there are four left at last count Sept 2017. PB hardly ever publicizes these ever...he needs an agent as he is always on with other creative things and also these books are not be be left at his exhibitions. There is a catalogue,m so this can be posted t you hardcopy for free.

The other handmade books were of Housman's poetry and of Wordsworth's - the 27 sonnets in the SIREN  are PB's poems & 21 etchings.

(Below)
Jacket of 'SONNETS. FOR A SIREN' showing real silver tooling BEAUTIFULLY EMBOSSED onto  one of the ten leatherbound books, fore and aft.


The leatherbound books are £4750 and buckram jacketed are £4000

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                           'LA ROUTE DES VIOLETTES' PB began as a 360 line poem but after a year decided in 2015 it best written as a novella of just over 30,000 words. After 3 years of writing and making etchings, this was finished by the end of August 2017 and was launched in September, first in York in a self-published edition of 500, all signed and dated, the book selling for £20.
PB selling these privately so just add add £3.50 for P&P and e-mail for bank details giving your telephone number. Each book will be signed and numbered.
Being privately published (hardback as below)  by The Shorthorn Press (Piers' etching's trading name) in an edition of just 500, the grammatical editing was not 100%. So, hopefully it may be taken on by a major publisher - and translated into French!
But it is near perfect  and at least beautifully bound and the jacket cover's picture (as you see) perfect by SMITH SETTLE (the best binder in UK to me) of Yeadon.

The  'Southern' launch is at London's 'La Galleria' at the Trafalgar Square end of  Pall Mall for the  week from   Monday Nov 27-  Saturday Dec 2 - closing on that Saturday at 4pm . Usual hours 10.30 - 8.30 daily.
PREVIEW
Monday 27 evening 6-9pm

Please watch this space for other places to buy it in a boxed set for £4500 - edition 4 .


The Catalogue for the etchings in this book is available from PB. It costs £2 and can be be posted to you First Class - price includes postage, or it can be emailed to you by Piers on request.


                           Who doesn't write usually poems or even make art when very moved emotionally?

                                With 'LA ROUTE DES VIOLETTES' everything insisted it be written:


*First,
PB's late wife Charlotte was photoed when engaged to Piers in 1984 summer when she was weeding (kindly and typically) and the inspiration for his heroine started with that photo!
Also PB's son-in-law was brought up in pre-teenage years in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, and had idyllic days with gentle, gutsy french school children - and now and again wonderful swims near Nice nearby down the valley.


*Secondly
, on visiting the village, PB found a leggy, dark Provencal young woman (happily engaged to be married) working in Tourrettes. Thus Celia Domengo was my model for 'ELISE', the book's heroine who has such inspiring grace and sweetness, beautiful face and slim figure, traits which PB's late wife naturally inspired.


*Thirdly,
HENRY', 'Elise's' lover, had a more embellished first love affair than mine when 14 years old when mainly PB danced the Twist with a french girl in Corsica in the late '60s - but that was a kick-off for this novella's hero's infatuation.


*Fourthly:
PB had an angelic event in 2002 and naturally had never forgotten that! Angels seem to keep themselves to themselves. The book is about an atheist meeting a very spiritual young woman, and their being denied marriage due to his lack of Faith.

*Finally,
PB found that Elton John, Mick Jagger and Bono all have villas close to Tourrettes and so, as Piers had as a hobby writing pop music - some turned into Popepra  'Musical' music (two performed so far), our hero usefully became a pop music writer.


Piers: "Only in this novella luckily, I fear my heroine was raped at 14, and rushes into a nearby fictitious Tourrettes convent- the nearest is at Cimiez, northern Nice. While there for over a decade, Elise prays hard each day to see Henry again. She does not the least stagnate while, not even a Novice, she teaches children English, picks violets for her mother, and re-reads Henry's poems and looks at his drawings he made for her until the type is almost gone.

Hero Henry, after a succession of failed relationships in London, does return to seek Elise out - 12 years after their first kiss! That they renew their loving relationship is thus extraordinary. However, being under the Abbess' wing in her convent - another twist in the story - the very spiritually minded Elise is denied 'freedom' to marry the ardent atheist Henry.

It is the way he is converted - and thus Elise released -that is the startling climax of the story.



 (top)
Many of the etchings in "La Route...' are on this www under ETCHINGS then FOREIGN
Here is a tiny etching, about the smallest in the book esp compared to below's Title and Jacket page image!..CAROLE PICKING VIOLETTES etching then digital enhancing)

Here is the near finished jacket cover (below)

The book size of the book (ed 500) is 25 x 17.5cms wide/ 9.75 x 7ins, and costs £20.
It had its initial launch at York's PYRAMID GALLERY. 
With far more Provencal works, drawing and oils - as well  again obviously  all (over 30) of La Route's etchings - to fill out their giant space, in central London's  LA GALLERIA.
The gallery is in Pall Mall's Royal Opera Arcade, only about 100 metres from Trafalgar Square and facing the south on the north side of Pall Mall, and that is far larger show than the York one but only runs from Monday 27th Nov Preview evening (please let PB know if wish to attend that night 6-9pm) - until Dec 2:  the last day is a Saturday and hours are not 10 - 7.30pm  as usual but 10 'til 4pm.

Piers seeks a publisher and then hopes a translator will also have it written in french.

During the show Piers will be painting a large 12' wide x 4' high Oil of Tourrettes-sur-Loup where the action occurs: the oil is begun and being photoed at every stage. La Galleria will show all 29 etchings which are reproduced in the book and many Provencal oils - it is a large gallery! All welcome and the gallery is right on the north side of Pall Mall facing south....excellent cafes in the arcade and of course the Nat Gallery a 2 minute walk away.
  ACCOLADES

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Listed below are the 3 previous totally handmade books of which only the SONNETS book has copies still for sale... 'copies'  a bad word as all are totally original.
                           
*A SHROPSHIRE LAD ed 25 
Slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, PB self-published  this handmade edition in 1985  and then it was mass published ed 4000 by Ashford Buchan & Enright 1988. [The handmade edition of 25 sold out in a matter of months and the mass edition went quickly too]

*WILLIAM WORDSWORTH: A LAKELAND ANTHOLOGY ed 10 slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, PB self- published 1990  and mass published ed 4000 by John Murray 1999 and  winning the illustrated book of that year (One copy bought by Felix Dennis in 2005 for £10,000 that patron gave it to the Wordsworth Centre at Dove Cottage in Grasmere.) Handmade edition of  10 sold out in a month, and likewise  the 4000 edition sold out.

*SONNETS FOR A SIREN (SEE ABOVE AT START)
 slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, ed 20 (which PB would be happy at last to have published - he hasn't tried to 'til now) was another 3 year project finished in 2008. Ten have sold for many thousands to both the Bodleian Library in Oxford along with the Cambridge University Library for example. Approaching eight  'private' patrons only, he sold those and has thus left max of 10 as in the last Recession he made no attempt to sell them and the habit has grown!

PB's handmade books are totally handmade, the type being usually handset by Hand & Eye Letterpress in London and the original etchings being bound in.
PB says it took him a month to be satisfied in the writing of each SONNETS FOR A SIREN sonnet alone -  there are 27 ! = about the time it takes him to make each of the 22 etchings.



Details of PB books:
'A SHROPSHIRE  LAD'

Foreword by Kinsgley Amis who loved Housman's berse, this was Piers' first handmade book (Edition of 25) and was begun whilst he was still at The Royal Academy Schools under the great Peter Greenham in 1972 and finished 10 years later.  One copy was donated to The National Trust in Shropshire and subsequently raised a massive £5000 through a raffle.  The proceeds were put to good use on the slopes of Wenlock Edge.  The mass publication came out in 1988 with a new edition later.  Although the new books are sold out, Amazon seems always to have a few used copies for sale.  The etchings were exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall's Poetry Library in 1996.  A few etchings are still some available from Piers, all 75 etchings contained were made in editions of 100.

Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: (defunct) Ashford Buchan & Enright (27 Sep 1988)   
ISBN-10: 1852530715
ISBN-13: 978-1852530716

 
'AN ELEGY IN ARCADY' - a black and white engraving-  illustrated  biography PB wrote and illustrated of A E Housman soon after he had completed the many colour etchings (1972-84) for A SHROPSHIRE LAD, his first success in the 'coffee-table sized book world book world.

This,Piers' second book, was then published again for the mass market by Ashford, Buchan & Enright and launched from Brewer's Hall in the City of London in 1989.  PB has in store not one copy of its edition (again 4000) left, but there are 4  boxed suites of book left from an edition of 25 (10 being 'harrowed' to sell the engravings separately when the artist's cashflow was tense! -  and all the engravings opposite the well inner-cased book  in a silver tooled presentation box.  ingenious and smart.
Each  box contains the 33 engravings of about 6" x 8" high on handmade paper sized 11"x 14".  The handsome large, deep box has a cherry tree in silver-emboss on the front cover against a background of apple green, price £2750. 

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Ashford Buchan & Enright (15 Feb 1990)
ISBN-10: 1852532300
ISBN-13: 978-1852532307


'WORDSWORTH: A LAKELAND ANTHOLOGY'

With a foreword by John Mortimer, Piers' third book was equal first in the WH Smith Illustrated Book of the Year Award, 1991. There are thirty-six selected Wordsworth poems with accompanying colour etchings and is a superb book for lovers of Wordsworth and the Lakeland landscape.  Both the handmade and reproduced book versions sold out ages ago, but many original etchings are still available from Piers or selected galleries.  This was, like 'A Shropshire Lad', originally handmade in an edition of 25 at a few thousand pounds each.

Hardcover: 98 pages
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (26 Sep 1991)
ISBN-10: 0719550033
ISBN-13: 978-0719550034


'WENSLEYDALE: ETCHINGS & VERSE'

The second of four mass produced, non handmade book from Piers. Only about 5 of 4000 remaining in PB stock - some in his galleries (see Stockist) and always from AMAZON!   A celebration of Wensleydale: in all its seasons, moods and times of day, it has proved a best seller with 75 etchings of the Dale therein, some not editioned out.

Hardcover: 100 pages
Publisher: Ashford Buchan & Enright (1994)
ISBN-10: 1852533021
ISBN-13: 978-1852533021


'SONNETS FOR A SIREN'

Out in 2008,  'Sonnets for a Siren' is a handmade book only.  It was 5 years in the making, and contains 27 Sonnets which Piers wrote about requited and unrequited love, and is set in sea-orientated places.  The 19 etchings (half in colour the rest in black and white) were first drawn in places like Zennor (Cornwall), Freshwater Bay, Shanklin or Tennyson Down (Isle of Wight) or on the Argyll coast! (as you see in the sunset below)
 
The pages are 13" x 18" high and the beautiful type, with much airy space around, was set, as with all Piers' handmade books, by the best, Hand & Eye Letterpress of London; the binding, three left with covers in calfskin, 10 with cloth, is embossed with silver images front and back which was done by Shepherds of London.

Of all three handmade books, this one is 'purest', being most dignified and the most classically simple, the type again perfect, due to  expertise of Phil Abel at Hand & Eye.  A small catalogue can be sent to you gratis by Piers.
  
In July 2009, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the amazing Cambridge University Library, along with 7 private 'patrons', received their orders of a leather bound book.  In an edition of 20, all theirs are from ten leather bound copes in the edition, with the remaining ten, though similarly embossed with real silver on front and back jacket covers, are cloth bound, so a shade paler and £500 less than the £3500 price for leather-bound copies.


The etching shown here - "I'll miss the lurch, spurt, soar...." [v much about requited love!] is one bound in with handset type in the book one day PB may try and get mass published
Most of the small etchings - this one on the right is 5" high x 6 across - are entirely sea with some landscape orientated, and about 6 are larger at about 8 x 6 inches, with all 19 printed directly from the hand-inked plate, (hand-inked by the artist only) onto this large book's every-other-left page facing the one of the sonnets.
As each original print costs around £200, and the fantastic length of time and cost of printing and then binding was about £2000 each book, each Handmade Books must surely be a great bargain, especially as in the hands of an Agent/gallery the book would be more.

Costs of 'Sonnets for a Siren' (which is not mass produced yet fpr personal reasons) are £4750 per leather book and £4000 cloth. The cost was nearly that to make each book -  the binding and especially silver embossed jackets were a weighty price, but the time spent making the whole book meant it was indeed  a labour of love.


'LOVE IN THE AEGEAN' (32 pages, 22 poems,22 pictures: 1/2 PRICE @£5 each Signed) is in an edition of 200 privately and beautifully bound and sold by Piers from home. The POETRY LIBRARY in the Royal festival Hall have two copies & some are for sale in Hay-on-Wye's Poetry Bookshop.

'THE GLORIOUS TREES OF GREAT BRITAIN
This was probably Britain's first E-book in that you can see every page and turning the pages is fun! -by logging onto: www.artists.ltd.uk/pb.... hope still working.
Only literally a 100 of the 4000 left, so £35 is the price .Some are available from PB's  galleries' stockists - see under either ETCHINGS or OILS FOR SALE for lists, as you may more than likely find a few signed copies still at any listed in the OILS or ETCHINGS for sale files on the www.
DAWYCK ARBORETUM in Peeblesshire now stocks this TREES books. That incredible Border's Pinetum was where Piers etched some of the highest Douglas Firs in the UK.

The book contains nearly 170 reproduced etchings of trees in romantic landscape from John O'Groats to Lands End, and N Ireland to killarney in s.w.Eire. It was critically very well received. HRH Prince Charles wrote the Foreword and Prof David Bellamy wrote each tree species' Chapter starts.

DO click on trees on the Home Page - right side of main column, to see all...though poorly reproduced. A few etching have sold out . Piers is VERY keen to show what he has been hoarding:
a group of the ORIGINAL oils/watercolours/drawings + their resultant etchings as reproduced in this large book... galleries do enquire as that would make a lovely show.

To order quickly, tel 01969 650434 or email:piersbrowne@gmail.com


Melvyn Bragg:
"I am full of admiration for Piers Browne's beautiful etchings in his latest book".


David Astor, ex-chairman of the CPRE (which Piers wholeheartedly supports):
"Only someone who is both an accomplished artist and who cares passionately about the countryside could have produced such beautiful etchings as seen in the Wensleydale"

The Poetry Library bought a copy and had exhibited his etchings. Piers etches as much as paints - and still adores the Wenslydale landscape and British seascapes - but the fluidity and chance of immediate texture with oil paint is hard to beat.


Other comments on his work;

H.R.H Prince of Wales who wrote the foreword to the Trees book, wrote Piers after receiving his Wensleydale book:
"I find the etchings hauntingly and evocatively beautiful. In fact, having seen your work, I hardly dare do any more painting myself"

Giles Auty (for many years Spectator Art critic and now a critic in Australia):
"Piers is a true Romantic, dedicated simply to his art."


LOVE IN THE AEGEAN
.....is a light (in all ways) is a slim volume imagined more than re-enacted in love poems made from experiences over the last two decades in mainly the Cycladic Isles of the Aegean and Turkey’s wonderful west coast.
In an Edition of 200 only (signed non handmade copies) this is PB’s 2011 illustrated poems  - (10 left March 2016)
They are real love poems, all 24, with 19 illustrations from oils done by the artist.
ANN PILLING the great children's book author and now prize-winning poet recently wrote of the book:
'Piers Browne's LOVE IN THE AEGEAN is warm with Mediterranean colour and light, a lyrical introduction to the place that gives him life'.
London's Royal Festival Hall's Poetry Library ordered and now have two copies, so do visit level 5 there to peruse

Cost £10 with £2.50 P&P - see Piers' address on the home page as exclusively available from him (left, two pages)


TATTOO'd SHROPSHIRE ETCHING!
Have I 'arrived' for such pain to be inflicted and permanently left? What a fan
Ben Radlinski is, who inheriting his parent's collection of Piers' etchings from A SHROPSHIRE LAD  which they bought over the years from the late 70's, had his arm tatooed with one!
(Left"Hawthorn: towards the Wrekin and Wenlock Edge from Hope Bowdler Hill " )
Actually the etching is one of PB's favourites.  Most of the 40 or so etchings in the book were in editions of 100, so bound to be a few left.
'A Shropshire Lad', the book, is well sold out - available, like many, from Amazon.
 
 
 
An etching from A SHROPSHIRE LAD (below) then Piers  leaning on his Etching Press with one WILLIAM WORDSWORTH: A LAKELAND ANTHOLOGY handmade book.