At the Back of the North Wind has been intriguing illustrators since Arthur Hughes teamed up with George MacDonald for the first edition, published in 1871. The latest to take up the challenge is Juliette Watts, who has just published Diamond and the North Wind. While I was a bit disappointed to learn that her version incorporates only an excerpt from the original, Juliette explains her thinking as follows:
“It consists of the first section of the book, through Diamond's "dream" in the cathedral, and waking up to the tree fallen on the summer house. My intention is to try to introduce new readers to this wonderful story. I thought that a small part of the tale might not be so daunting as the 300+ page volume for those new to MacDonald. It is with great reverence, inspiration and gratitude that I undertook the production of and illustrations for this book.”
Juliette’s illustrations are worthy additions to the artwork that has graced earlier editions of MacDonald’s classic. While a few are presented below, more images are available on her website, juliettewatts.com, and the book can be pre-ordered from Amazon.