My House Of Sky

Mocked-up cover for Hetty Saunders’ biography of J.A. Baker, the author of The Peregrine, which is the only ‘nature book’ you’ll ever need. Baker was intensely private man who lived a quiet and humble life in Essex. His passion for poetry collided in mid-life with an obsession for one bird – the peregrine falcon. He spent a decade from the 1950-60’s documenting his observations of peregrines near the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, and condensed his voluminous notes – like crushing coal into diamond – to create a unique book suffused with dreams of flight and the fear of death. Having lived such an unremarkable life, with no debauched Soho adventures or vengeful mistresses in his wake, the biography might be dissatisfying to some, but it’s rich with detail, including full-colour images of artefacts from the Baker collection, including his notebooks, his binoculars, and pages of handwritten poetry. Published as a real labour of love by Little Toller books, it’s worth your time, especially if you’ve read The Peregrine, which I also recommend.

This cover uses my 2016 drawing ‘The Monarch’:

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