Beehive Illuminated Editions
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
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.
The Island of Doctor Moreau - H. G. Wells
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.
The Willows and other nightmares - Algernon Blackwood
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.