Saturday, March 18, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 207: A Treasury of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales, by Various Authors

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*St. Patrick's Day Edition*

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

A Treasury of Irish Fairy 
and Folk Tales
 (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
Various Authors 
Leather Bound Hardcover, 704  pages
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
February 4, 2016
   Classics, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Mythology

My Thoughts About This Cover

Since I didn't post anything for St. Patrick's Day yesterday, and felt a little sad about that, I've decided to feature a beautiful cover related to Irish literature for  this week's "Shelf Candy Saturday".

Every discerning bookworm/bibliophile has surely seen these GORGEOUS literary creations at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I certainly have! And, of course, my eyes feast on them, and my restless book-addicted soul yearns to own every single one! (Well, except for Dracula and the works of H.P. Lovecraft, AND the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and really, ANY horror novel or collection of novels.) I do happen to own a few of these books, but not this particular one -- yet! Lol.

The cover has definitely been influenced by one of the world's most beautiful design styles -- the Celtic. This particular style is full of swirling curves and intricate design motifs that twist and intertwine in very pleasing, geometric visual patterns.

This type of bookbinding, with intricate design work on leather, was very common in the 19th-century, but gradually disappeared toward the beginning of the 20th-century. Thankfully, Barnes & Noble has resurrected this lost art through their beautiful, mouth-watering collectible editions, each of which is a masterpiece of the bookbinder's noble art. (Pun intended? Definitely.)

I apologize for the somewhat blurry images above and below -- they were the best I could get. When I began participating in this meme, back when Stephanie @ Five Alarm Book Reviews hosted it, I decided that I would always include large images of the books I featured. So I've done so today, as well. I hope you can all admire some of the intricate details involved in this cover's remarkably stunning design.

This is the book's full cover. You can see 
that it has the type of all-over design 
style common in the 19th century.

As with Art Nouveau, Celtic design is plant-based; both styles contain intertwining leaves, flowers, and branches. Some of the designs are more abstract than others. Celtic design is distinctive because of its intricacy. There's a lot of knotting involved.

This type of design is perfect for a book containing a compilation of fairy tales, and Irish ones, too! I love that the designer has overlapped the frame around the title with part of the design, especially at the bottom of the frame. This breaks up any monotony created by the more classic-looking frame.

I also love the rich background color. It's a shade of green known as "dark Kelly green". This shade evokes images of untouched forests, rolling green meadows, and, of course, leprechauns!. It's also become a symbol of Ireland, and part of the traditions of St. Patrick's Day.

The font used for the title is one I've seen frequently on signs and T-shirts created for St. Patrick's Day. It's influenced by the calligraphy used in medieval illustrated manuscripts, and is very stylish and beautiful.

And now I have to sit here and wonder WHY the brilliant cover designer has not been credited....or perhaps they have, and I don't know who the person is because I don't own the book.... The designer's name might very well be on the book's copyright page. I have already checked out the book on Amazon, but there's no reader preview provided for it, so I can't take a look at the copyright page. 

This is yet another instance in which a cover designer or illustrator has not been properly credited for their work. Surely a bookseller as well known as Barne & Noble should do MUCH better! Oh, well....

Of course, I'm itching to order this treasure RIGHT NOW. Perhaps I will, too, just as soon as I finish this post.... Lol.

Here are some typical Celtic designs, which are free to download at I love all the circles and intertwining, highly intricate patterns of this stunning design style!


Online Links


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. This is a great book for the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Maria.

    I love Celtic designs and artwork and I love the cover as well as the biding of the book that you posted.

    Those Barnes & Noble as well as similar bindings and designs are fantastic. If I had unlimited money I would start a large collection of Classic Books bound in this style.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      It certainly is! Glad you agree!

      When I saw this gem, I KNEW I had to feature it on "Shelf Candy Saturday"! The design is just GORGEOUS!!

      Celtic design is one of my favorite art design styles, right up there with Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I'm happy you like it, too!

      Like you, if had lots of money, I'd DEFINITELY buy every single book in this collection (except for the ones I mentioned in the post, lol). They are simply literary treasures, both because of the contents and the cover design!!

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! Hope you're having a nice Sunday!! :) :) :)

  2. That is gorgeous! You're right about the green evoking images of untouched forests and coupled witht he design, it's just mesmerising.

    1. Hi, Verushka!

      I'm so glad you love this cover, too! And yes, that green is just so beautiful.... What a nice way to describe the total effect of this cover, too -- "mesmerizing"! You're so right about that!!

      You know, Barnes & Noble has put out some really GORGEOUS volumes in this collection! I wish I could own them all, lol.

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  3. This is such a gorgeous book!! Mom collects the Barnes & Noble editions; but I don't believe she has this one, so this gives me a great gift idea! I just love the Celtic patterns on this cover, and I completely agree with you about the colors and the font -- it's just stunning. You do such a beautiful job of describing all the elements here. You are the book cover queen! *bows down* Fantastic post, Maria!! *hugs* <3


    1. Hi, Mckenzie!

      It sure is!! Glad you agree!

      Oh, how nice that your mom collects these editions!!! And I'm very happy to have given you a gift idea, too!

      This is indeed a very stunning cover, because of the colors and the Celtic designs! I know your mom will love it if you give her this book for the next special occasion!!

      Aw.....thank you so much for your kind words!! I definitely LOVE featuring and analyzing beautiful book covers!!

      Thank you so much for one of the loveliest comments EVER!! HUGS GALORE!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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