Monday, August 10, 2015

Under Cover: Bill English


Jacket and cover designs by Bill English

Most jackets are linked to a
bookseller or Facsimile Dust Jackets.

Rex Warner
Lippincott, 1946

A. A. Avery
Bantam Books, 1946

Double Image
Arthur Herbert Bryant
Farrar, Straus, 1946
Image from the catalog, First Annual Exhibition of Book Jackets,
sponsored by the Book Jacket Designers Guild, 1948

Forlorn Sunset
Michael Sadleir
Farrar, Straus and Company, 1946

Image from the catalog, First Annual Exhibition of Book Jackets,
sponsored by the Book Jacket Designers Guild, 1948

Never Let Weather Interfere
Messmore Kendall
Farrar, Straus and Company, 1946

Night Fire
Edward Kimbrough
Rinehart & Co., 1946

John Buchan
Bantam Books, 1946

January 1947
6. Bodoni types with a red band and one of gray-green. By Bill English.
(A jacket by English was reproduced in this issue.)

H. F. Heard
Vanguard Press, 1947
Anna Kavan
Doubleday and Co., 1947


What D’Ya Know for Sure, a 20th Century
Fox Literary Fellowship Novel

Len Zinberg

Doubleday and Co., 1947




Rex Stout

Viking Press, 1948




Meredith Willson
Doubleday & Company, 1948

The Aunt’s Story
Patrick White
Viking Press, 1948
sponsored by the Book Jacket Designers Guild, 1949

Uneasy Street
Wade Mille
Farrar, Straus & Company, 1948

Wade Miller
Farrar, Straus, 1949

Dry Messiah: The Life of Bishop Cannon
Virginius Dabney
Alfred A. Knopf, 1949

May? 1949
…best, and still one of the simplest jackets we've seen for some time is the one Knopf have for Virginius Dabney’s “Dry Messiah: The Life of Bishop Cannon,” the famous prohibitionist. Bill English has taken the outstanding characteristics of the late and mostly unlamented Bishop and translated them into a pair of flaming eyes and a blue nose. With its white background, it’s an eye stopper, and we’ll bet it dominates any window that displays it.
Shirley Jackson
Farrar, Strauss, 1949

John Macdonald
Alfred A Knopf, 1949

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1949

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1949

Wade Miller
Farrar Straus, 1950

Cleve F. Adams
Alfred A. Knopf, 1950

John Ross MacDonald

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1950

Records: 1950 Edition
David Hall
Alfred A. Knopf, 1950

Hammond Innes
Alfred A Knopf, 1951

G. V. Desani
Farrar and Straus, 1951

Art Directors Club, 1951
245 — design of complete unit —
[Contraband]
designer: Bill English
art directors: Bill English, Harry Ford
artist: Bill English 

Herbert Gold
Viking Press, 1951

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1951

Theo Durrant
Alfred A. Knopf, 1951

Robert Merle
Alfred A. Knopf, 1951

January 1952
“Some Practical Notes on the Design and Creation of Book Jackets”, by Morris Colman, illustrated by work of Joseph Low, Alvin Lustig, Ludwig Bemelmans, Susan Foster, Bill English, Thomas Ruzicka, George W. Thompson, Ray Pederson, Philip Grushkin, Al Hirschfeld, George Maas, Edward Collins, Miriam Woods

Art Directors Club, 1952
268 Photographers: Bill English
Mariamne {English’s wife]
Art Director: R. A. Freiman
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Publication: “A Length of Rope”

Encore
W. Somerset Maugham
Doubleday, 1952
Jacket design by Bill English

Hemlock and After
Angus Wilson
Viking Press, 1952

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1952

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1952

Hubert Creekmore
Random House, 1953

Oakley Hall
Viking Press, 1953

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1953

A Man and Two Gods
Jean Morris
Viking Press, 1953

John Ross Macdonald

On the Road
Jack Kerouac
Viking Press, 1953

The Overloaded Ark
Gerald M. Durrell
Viking Press, 1953

The Stones of the House
Theodore Morrison
Viking Press, 1953

The Time of Indifference
Alberto Moravia
Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953

Jack Waer
Viking Press, 1954

1954
Hastings House develops ad art book program
Art director Harry Ford is using top professional designers for the covers. The first ten books will be done by Alvin Lustig, Leo Lionni, Joseph Low, George Salter, Bill English, Seymour Robbins, McKnight Kauffer, Antonio Frasconi and Harry...

Random House, 1954

Binghamton Press
(New York)
October 31, 1954

Binghamton Press
(New York)
May 8, 1955

The Black Mountain
Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1954

Carnival by the Sea
Sigrid de Lima
Scribners, 1954

William Gibson
Alfred A. Knopf, 1954

George Harmon Coxe
Alfred A. Knopf, 1954

The Huge Season
Wright Morris
Viking Press, 1954

Jesse’s Creole Deep South Recipes
Edith and John Watts
Viking Press, 1954

Phyllis McGinley
Viking Press, 1954

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1954

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1955

The Navigator
Jules Roy
Alfred A. Knopf, 1955

The New Men
C. P. Snow
Scribners, 1955

Harvey Swados
Viking Press, 1955

Willy Ley
Viking Press, 1955

Angus Wilson
Viking Press, 1956

John Masters
Viking Press, 1956

The Earth We Live On
Ruth Moore
Alfred A. Knopf, 1956

Homecoming
C.P. Snow

Rex Stout

Graham Greene
Viking Press, 1956

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1956

The Anatomy Lesson
Evan S. Connell, Jr.
Viking Press, 1957

Angus Wilson
Viking Press, 1957

Warner Fite
Indiana University Press, 1957

John Masters
Viking Press, 1957

Bernard Wolfe
Alfred A. Knopf, 1957

Rex Stout

Jack Kerouac

The Sandcastle
Iris Murdoch
Viking Press, 1957

Robert Jungk
Harcourt Brace, 1958

Jack Kerouac
Viking Press, 1958

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1958

Hammond Innes
Alfred A. Knopf, 1958

Graham Greene
Viking Press, 1958

Pax
Middleton Kiefer
Random House, 1958

Hollis Alpert
Alfred A. Knopf, 1958

The Portable Henry James
Morton Dauwen Zabel, editor
Viking Press, 1958

D. H. Lawrence
Viking Press, 1958

The Galton Case
Ross Macdonald
Alfred A. Knopf, 1959

The Gray Flannel Shroud
Henry Slesar
Random House, 1959

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Alfred A. Knopf, 1959

Ruth Suckow
Viking Press, 1959

Nathalie Sarraute
Braziller, 1959 

My Father and I
Joseph Schildkraut and Leo Lania
Viking Press, 1959

Jack Kerouac
Viking Press/Compass Books, 1959

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1959

Phyllis McGinley
Viking Press, 1959

The Sacred Mushroom
Andrija Puharich
Doubleday, 1959

James Wood
Vanguard, 1959

Diana Chang
Random House, 1959

The Ardent Years
Janet Stevenson
Viking Press, 1960

Pierre Boulle
Vanguard Press, 1960

Evan S. Connell Jr.
Viking Press, 1960

Hollis Alpert
Alfred A. Knopf, 1960

Rex Stout

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1960

Holly Roth
Random House, 1960

Graham Greene
Viking Press, 1961

Erle Stanley Gardner
Walter J. Black, 1961

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1961

Five of a Kind
Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1961

Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place
Malcolm Lowry
Lippincott, 1961

Al Hine
Atheneum, 1961

The Man-Eater of Malgudi
R. K. Narayan
Viking Press, 1961

Angus Wilson
Viking Press, 1961

Iris Murdoch
Viking Press, 1961

Rex Stout

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1962

Iris Murdoch
Viking Press, 1962

Theodore Morrison
Viking Press, 1962

Rex Stout

The Unicorn
Iris Murdoch
Clarke Irwin, 1963

The Deep and the Past
David B. Ericson & Goesta Wollin
Alfred Knopf, 1964

Angus Wilson
Viking Press, 1964

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1964

Rex Stout

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1965

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1965

Under the Net
Iris Murdoch
Viking Press, 1965

Rex Stout
Viking Press, 1966

Calder Willingham
Vanguard, 1969

Vol. 3 No. 3, Fall 1980
…Bill English was mainly a hardcover artist but he did some wonderfully imaginative design for Bantam endpapers and covers. his endpaper map for “First Come, First Kill” (page 47 in PQ) is better than most Dell “mapbacks”!

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design
Ned Drew, ‎Paul Sternberge
Princeton Architectural Press, 2005
English’s Encore jacket reproduced on page 59.

The Daily Heller
A few of the jackets are from this article.

*****

William Walters “Bill” English was born in Campbell, Missouri, on May 28, 1916. English’s full name and birth information was at Ancestry.com in the Social Security Application database. English’s full name was also used on his 1954 book, Basic Ballet. His parents were James R. English and Hazel Walters.

The 1920 U.S. Federal Census recorded English, his parents and older brother, James, in Hayti, Missouri. His father was a public school teacher.

Hapeville, Georgia was English’s home town in the 1930 census. His mother, a divorcee, was the head of the household which did not list James, but included twin sons, David and Charles. The family resided at 87 North Central Avenue.

Nothing is known about English’s education and art training. He made his way to New York City where he applied for his Social Security number in December 1936. It is not known if he was employed at a design firm or corporation.

So far, English’s earliest known jacket and book cover designs appeared in 1946.

English has not been found in the 1940 census. Ancestry.com has a number of Bridgeport, Connecticut city directories. English was listed in the “Artists—Commercial” category in the 1948 directory. His address was 1969 Cross Highway. The next available directory, from 1954, named English and his wife, Mariamne, who lived at 1023 Hulls Highway. When they married is not known. His occupations were artist and writer. The 1955, 1957 and 1962 directories had the same information. The listing in the 1972 directory said English was Vice President of Intercorp Inc. and lived at 101 Harbor Road.

Below is an excerpt from a 1963 Publishers Weekly article:

Colophons or Devices: Old and New
Mention has been made of Yale’s “foursquare” colophon, which was the brainchild of Alvin Eisenman, typographical consultant to the Press and a member of the Yale faculty, and “used to the hilt” (in the words of Chester Kerr, Yale’s director) “by Bill English.” (Bill English is head of the agency which handles Yale’s advertising, and he has been responsible for the look of most of the recent Yale ads—“a uniqueness of style which seems to suit our particular attitude toward scholarly publishing.
According to the Connecticut Death Index, English passed away March 27, 1980 in Kent, Connecticut. His spouse was Virginia; the date of their marriage is not known. English’s first wife, Mariamne English-King, passed away December 21, 2007 in Mohegan Lake, New York. English and Mariamne’s son, Timothy Gordon English, was mentioned in the magazine Broadcasting, December 17, 1990, on page 80, bottom of column two.


(Next post on Monday: 100 Ampersands, Part 4)

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