We make picture books, usually for the kindle, although some of them we will print up from time to time. This year we are kicking off some changes in how we do eBooks based on the feedback we got from customers over on Amazon. There is nothing better than a good review, and even a marginal review can offer some good insight into the book.
The biggest issue (3+ reviews) was that we didn’t include any text in our picture books. Rather we just focused in on the art, but that was not quite what people were looking for we started going through some of the older books, finding amazing stuff written around the turn of the century, the 1800’s to be precise and we found this amazing author Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, a Russian poet and play writer. He is a lot like Edgar Allen Poe, and you know if you are into horror Goth hopelessness then Poe is your guy.
We had been working on a number of demon pictures, and decided to marry the two together.
The book of poetry that was used for this book was written in 1918 with the original poetry written before 1840. The document we used scanned by the Internet Archive. The book in its entirety reads like a play, and in some ways was probably meant to be a production piece. The Publisher of the original book was Douglas and Foulis of Edinburg after being translated by Robert Burness.
Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov was a fascinating person to read about. Essentially a rebel he was exiled on multiple occasions by Czar Nicholas for being irreverent. He seems like the kind of person that would do well in this day and age.
By no means did we use the entire book, we picked and chose what we thought would work best as an accompaniment to the pictures we had produced. There is something elegant about Victorian Poetry that sums up that age of steam, science, and the holding onto fairy tales, demons, faeries, and other assorted phantasmagoria that ran rampant through the common person as the age of science began to take root and take hold of mans thinking. As the Witch Craft delusion began to fade, so did the mystery of the countryside. Along with the loss of demons, we also lost the fae and the magical countryside.
You can read the book in its entirety from the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/demonthe00lermrich and it is worth working through the archaic language to understand that this was written 170 some odd years ago, and printed 100 years ago. It is worth reviving older books long past copyright so that the art, the words, the emotions and the feelings can be translated into more modern language while retaining the wonder, fear and hope of a long forgotten age.