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Available Online


The Classic of Mountains and Seas

  • Starts 9 Jul
  • 399 British pounds
  • Online


Service Description

There is a toy theatre thread that runs through the current crop of books. Between the Peepshow and the moveable books there is the Harlequinade book - also known as a lift-the-flap book. On the stage the Harlequinade was a precursor to the Victorian pantomime, itself part of Victorian theatre and then toy theatre tradition, so the motif of dressing up and cross-dressing runs through this too. The Harlequinade book is an important link in the history of moveable books which we are tracing. Monsters and metamorphoses are a good subject for these 'changing faces' types of turn-up books. Having done a Medieval Islamic bestiary (the Book of Useful Animals), we now turn to one of the 4 great classic novels of China, the Classic of Mountains and Seas, also thought of as a Chinese bestiary, similar to the wonder genre of books such as Marco Polo's Travels or Il Milione. This book about mythic geography tells of fantastic creatures and wonders such as a 9-tailed fox, people with 3 heads and pigs that fly. We'll take inspiration from this ancient book and the Harlequinade format will also allow new creations to be made and bring these into a new dimension. And of course we will also add colour. Class includes a bespoke handmade leather cover to paint and free postage to anywhere in the world. Sent separately depending on production schedules. Make your own library of handmade Islamic style books!

Upcoming Sessions

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