Year 12 and 13 English Literature pupils were visited recently by Dr Helen Cole, Independent Academic and expert in rare books and illustration, who delivered a lecture on the power of words and pictures in fiction.

Pupils learned about the history of illustration and script through the ages, looking at Bronze Age scripts up to the more modern illustrations of Robert MacFarlane. Pupils were asked to consider the purpose of illustration and to reflect on the rising popularity and importance of illustration in adult fiction.

Throughout the session, Dr Cole was able to illustrate her argument by offering pupils the opportunity to handle first edition 1791 texts up to the more modern YA first editions.

A group of Year 12 pupils also enjoyed a bespoke session with Dr Cole at Chawton House Library where they were able to look at an even greater range of rare and incredibly old pieces of fiction and illustration.