9 Oct 2009


Funny isn't it - just yesterday afternoon I did a post mentioning the works of T.S. Eliot, only for Hubby to come in with a copy of our local newspaper which contained this article about the poet and his famous book - OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS - which celebrates it's 70th anniversary this year.


A popular children's illustrator met with young fans to an exhibition launch in our region.

Axel Scheffler, who is best known for illustrating the award-winning picture book The Gruffalo, opened a new display at Seven Stories, the centre for children's book based in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley.

The mini exhibition commemorates Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, which has been re-illustrated by Axel for it's 70th anniversary edition, as well as the 80th anniversary of Faber And Faber Publishers.

T.S. Eliot's much-loved collection of poems has been a success since it first appeared in 1939 and has never been out of print.

Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St Louis Missouri, USA. He came to England in 1914 and published his first book of poems in 1917.

Most of the poems in Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats were written between 1936 and 1938 including the famous poems MACAVITY, DEUTERONOMY and MR MISTOFFELEES.

The collection was also the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical Cats, in which the poems are set to music.

Axel is the latest in a long line of distinguished illustrators to bring Eliot's cats to life.

Axel said: "I felt very honoured to be asked to illustrate such a classic and I'm always impressed how popular the poems are in the English-speaking world."

The work is now open to the public. The Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats will be running until Spring 2010 in the Bookden at Seven Stories.

It is also the inspiration for Paws And Claws week - an entire week of crafty feline fun at Seven Stories this October half term which starts on Saturday, 24th October.

SOURCE: The Chronicle.


Kelly said...

You know, I don't believe I've ever picked up a copy of that book before. Maybe back in my school days, but it's not ringing a bell.

Alexia561 said...

Remember picking up a copy of Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats, but I'm not sure what I did with it. May be in one of the boxes in the attic, as I can't find it on my shelves. Remember enjoying some of the poems, so may have to dig it out. Thanks!

pete said...

t s eliot has just been voted the most popular (or was it the most read?) poet in the uk.

Petty Witter said...

Hi Pete, thanks for visiting, I hope to see you back again.

Depending on your sources, Eliot has been voted both the most popular and most read poet here in the UK.

Lilah Clay (alias Lava) said...

I found you because we share one of the same favorite books. The Book Thief. I really enjoy your quotes. Especially the one about love and life.

If you're interested in more leisurely reading my blog is creative nonfiction called "THE TIGER IN MY RIBCAGE".

Thank you Petty.

....Petty Witter said...

Nice of you to drop by Lilah or do you prefer Lava? The Book Thief, one of my all time favourites, a must read book. I shall certainly pay you a visit and hope you'll join us back on Pen And Paper.