Beehive Illuminated Editions

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Beehive Illuminated Editions

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beehive books stack of illuminated editions

Beehive Books

The Beehive Books ‘Illuminated Editions’ series is an ongoing series of classic literary masterworks. Each volume is beautifully designed by Maëlle Doliveux, filled with stunning illustrations, and presented in a slipcase.

The books are oversized (9″x12″) cloth-bound hardcovers with sewn signatures. The slipcases are textured, being elaborately debossed and embossed, die-cut, and foil blocked. The interior is printed on “creamy, acid-free uncoated paper with a fine tooth”, and each edition includes a minimum of ten full page illustrations, along with numerous spots, illuminated letters, and design pieces. The books are produced in a somewhat limited edition of 2500. 

The books are first released via kickstarter, so you’ll need to subscribe to their campaigns if you want a copy of the books immediately as they are released. The kickstarter campaigns also include access to their signed and numbered editions (limitations of 250 per title) that include foil-stamped slipcases, sprayed page edges, silk ribbon bookmarks and specialty bookplates, and recently lettered editions in a clamshell have also been added to the offerings. You can also buy the books directly from the Beehive Shop after the campaign has been fulfilled (assuming the limited book allocation hasn’t been exhausted).

But if you’re happy to wait a little in order to save a few dollars, they are usually cheaper when they become available through retail stores (links below – support the publisher’s shop if you can, but otherwise check which option is cheapest for your destination – shipping from the shop to destinations other than the US is verrrrrrrrry expensive!).

Series 1 (2017/2018)

The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

Author/illustrator
Text by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, introduced by Michael Cunningham

Publication
First edition Beehive Books, 2018. 2nd edition anticipated Sep 2023.


Find it at

➤ Amazon | WaterstonesBlackwells | B&N | Beehive Books | Abes


Review

A collection of Wilde’s moving, sweet and magical fairy tales, with stories from both of his fairy tale books The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant. Stunning illustrations. ISBN: 9781948886017.

See an in-depth review and video of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde here.

Video review
The Island of Doctor Moreau - H. G. Wells

Author/illustrator
Text by H. G. Wells, illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz, introduced by Guillermo del Toro

Publication
Beehive Books, Kickstarter 2017 / Trade released May 2019


Find it at

➤ Amazon | WaterstonesBlackwells | B&N | Beehive Books | Abes


Review

An early science fiction classic of human chimeras and deranged scientific curiosity. Sienkiewicz’s style is a hybrid of golden age, midcentury modern and expressionist, with the book featuring 11 paintings and 35 spot illustrations of animals. ISBN: 9781948886031.

Note that there is some text missing from the first chapter of this title, at least for first printings (an embarassing fail for a book of this calibre, but as far as I am aware the only one), and you can request an errata sheet from Beehive directly (email them at [email protected]).

The Willows and other nightmares - Algernon Blackwood

Author/illustrator
Text by Algernon Blackwood, illustrated by Paul Pope, introduced by Ramsey Campbell, colors by Omar Abdullah

Publication
Beehive Books, Kickstarter 2018 / Trade released Sep 2019


Find it at

➤ Amazon | Waterstones | Blackwells | B&N | Beehive Books | Abes


Review

The title novella is a chilling story of two friends rafting down the flooded Danube, slowly becoming deranged by a mysterious force at work on the branch-choked river. The book also includes four additional suspenseful short stories. Pope’s vibrant illustrations bring electricity and high spirits to this collection of supernatural tales. ISBN 9781948886000.

Series 2 (2020/2021)

Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie

Author/illustrator
Text by J. M. Barrie, illustrated by Brecht Evens, introduced by Maria Tatar

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade released Dec 2020


Find it at

AmazonBlackwells | B&NBeehive Books | Abes


Review

The boy who wouldn’t grow up brings Wendy and her brothers to Neverland, where he has a showdown with his nemesis Captain Hook. Bright and energetic images employ a fluid, vibrant palette, and the cover and case are gorgeous. However, for an imaginative children’s story like this, I personally would have appreciated more illustrations. ISBN 9781948886109.

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Author/illustrator
Text by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Constance Garnett, illustrated by Dave McKean, introduced by Lonny Harrison

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade released Dec 2020

Review

Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg, formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to liberate himself from poverty. This intense Russian psychological crime novel explores the protagonist’s internal struggles of guilt, morality and philosophy. Dave McKean’s mixed media artwork features brooding, shadowy paintings that vividly bring to life Raskolnikov’s tormented fever dreams. ISBN 9781948886123.

The Blazing World - Margaret Cavendish

Author/illustrator
Text by Margaret Cavendish, illustrated Rebekka Dunlap

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade Sep 2021


Find it at

Amazon | Waterstones | Blackwells | B&N | Beehive Books | Abes


Review

Written in 1666 by the Duchess of Newcastle. The story follows a young woman who is transported to a world of animal-people, becomes their empress, and eventually leads an invasion back into her own world. This science fiction tale is an early exploration of gender, power, and knowledge – touching on spirit possession, astral projection, the many-worlds theory, and an inter-dimensional otherworldly queer romance. Dunlap’s stunning psychedelic illustrations craft a lavish spectacle of this fantastical tale. ISBN 9781948886130.

Series 3 (2022/2023)

The Beehive Series 3 kickstarter closed in February 2021 with books releasing to retail stores in 2022.

For the first time, this kickstarter included high-end lettered editions of the new titles, only 26 copies of each, housed in a silkscreened cloth clamshell case with a foil-stamped print by the illustrator.

A Voyage to Arcturus - David Lindsay

Author/illustrator
Text by David Lindsay, illustrated by Jim Woodring, introduced by Alan Moore.

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade October 2022


Find it at

Amazon | Blackwells | B&N | Beehive Books


Review

An interesting amalgam of mysticism, science fiction, sexual politics, and outrageous fantasy from the 1920s. Maskull is transported to the planet Tormance orbiting the star Arcturus. As he journeys across the alien landscape, encountering numerous fantastical beings and creatures, each new region propels Maskull into increasingly complex philosophical and spiritual discussions that explore human nature and the pursuit of enlightenment. Woodring’s illustrations, reminiscent of quirky, kaleidoscopic woodcuts, joyfully capture the dynamic energy that underpins this delightfully esoteric text. ISBN 9781948886307.

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Author/illustrator
Text by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrated by the Balbusso Twins, introduced by Nathan Robinson.

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade Jan 2023


Find it at

Amazon | Waterstones | Blackwells | B&N | Beehive Books


Review

Set in the opulence of 1920s America, wealthy Jay Gatsby’s quest to win the love of Daisy Buchanan leads him into the hollow core of the American dream. The novel unfolds through the eyes of Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbor, offering a critique of the excesses and moral decay of the era. The book features fifty vibrant color illustrations by brilliant Italian artists, the Balbusso Twins. Marrying the extravagance of the Jazz Age with a sleek, modern aesthetic, this stylishly crafted book transports us directly into the ebullience of the 1920s. ISBN 9781948886284.

The Kwaidan Collection

Author/illustrator
Text by Lafcadio Hearn, illustrated by Kent Williams, introduced by filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, foreword by writer Kyoko Yoshida, and an essay by Bon Koizumi.

Publication
Beehive Books, Trade released Apr 2023

Review

A collection of supernatural Japanese stories, nightmares and strange tales that were originally published in Hearn’s books Kwaidan (which translates as ‘ghost stories’) and Shadowings. Over 60 rich, layered artworks by Kent Williams dreamily merge the real and the supernatural, beautifully capturing the haunting beauty, subtle horror, and mysticism of Hearn’s poetic folklore narrations. ISBN: 9781948886321.

Series 4 (2023/2024)

Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi

Author/illustrator
Text by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Mike Mignola, removable annotations by author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). 

Publication
Beehive Books, Kickstarter edition anticipated December 2023, Trade edition June 2024

Review

This classic children’s text will have over fifty illustrations from Mike Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, and an interactive full text annotation by Lemony Snicket included as removable typewritten sheets.

4 Comments

Mink Maiale · 30 June 2023 at 1:05 pm

I very much believe that autocorrect is likely the culprit here, but for the upcoming Pinocchio release, the author’s first name is Carlo (not Carlos). As an Italian with many a Carlo in my family, I couldn’t resist commenting in the hopes that this can be rectified.

    Daisy · 30 June 2023 at 6:14 pm

    Indeed, autocorrect did Carlo a dirty deed here – thanks so much for catching it and letting me know to fix it!

Zan Rebolj · 13 July 2021 at 4:51 pm

Is this true, The Island of Doctor Moreau is not a complete book?

    Mark Maultby · 29 March 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Yes, there’s a short section missing near the start

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