Poetry books incl novel La Route eds Violettes images

Piers has carved out a reputation as a traditional landscape painter-etcher - more recently of seascapes oils too, but is known also for his handmade books - to date three of the 8 books he has done are 'handmade' in editions of no more than 25, real collector's items.

What is  a bit special is Piers'ability to write POETRY, some acclaimed, and to illustrate it - which convinced the Bodleian  (Weston library now) Museum in Oxford & Cambridge University Library plus seven & 'private' patrons to buy 11 of 20 of this about 19" (49cm) high x 12 (31cm) wide handmade book 'Sonnets for a Siren' shown below.
The edition 20,  handmade as the type is handset by Hand & Eye Letterpress in London and the etchings are all original and bound in equal amounts. There are illustrated with 21 etchings mainly in monochrome 27 sonnets.
There are some of this book left: in a leather binding (as below) there is one still left, while in buckram there are four left at last count Sept 2017. PB hardly ever publicizes these ever...he needs an agent as he is always on with other creative things and also these books are not be be left at his exhibitions. There is a catalogue,m so this can be posted t you hardcopy for free.

The other handmade books were of Housman's poetry and of a selection of Wordsworth's poems which, again larege, won the WHSmith Illustrated Book of the Year in 1992

Jacket of 'SONNETS. FOR A SIREN' showing real silver tooling BEAUTIFULLY EMBOSSED onto  one of the ten leatherbound books, fore and aft.

The leatherbound books are £7500 and buckram jacketed are £6000
Here are 4 of the 22 etchings from the book - which PB has never offered a publisher:


                           'LA ROUTE DES VIOLETTES' ....
PB began life as a 360 line poem.
But after a year decided in 2016 PB decided it was best written as a short'ish novel of just over 35,000 words.
BUT...after 3 years of writing and making etchings, this was finished by the end of August 2017 and was launched in September, first in York then central London in a self-published edition of 500, all signed and dated, the book selling for £20. But....has since doubled in size and now 2021 has 48 etchings withing its glamorous covers and been brilliantly edited ready for publication.
Hopefully, when an Agent is found, the longer, re-written book its 48 etchings as illustrations may be taken on by an agent and then publisher in a larger format with corrected text and its added short chapters.

NB There will be a  Catalogue which included the new pictures all done...WHEN it is taken ON BY A PUBLISHER AND AS A NATIONWIDE LAUNCH.

                           Why 'write' or make 'art' when not stirred emotionally? (PB)

                                With 'LA ROUTE DES VIOLETTES' everything insisted it should be written....

PB's late wife Charlotte was photoed when engaged to Piers in 1984 summer when she was weeding in the garden -!- in the garden which was inspired the artist's violet picking Provencal heroine to be drawn extensively in Tourrettes sur Loup, one of the last places in s e France where violets are cultivated. 

Also PB's son-in-law was brought up in his pre-teenage years in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, and had idyllic days with beautiful gutsy and beautiful french school children with now and again wonderful swims near Nice --half hour bus journey down the valley towards the "Med'. Indeed, T-s-L is an idyllic  place, still inpsiring for artists and creativity.

: on visiting the village in 2015 PB found a leggy, dark Tourettane young woman (happily engaged to be married) then working in T-sur-L. This Celia Domengo modelled for 'ELISE', the book's heroine. Such inspiring grace, facial beauty and slim figure, were traits which PB's late wife naturally inspired... but had sadly passed away while still young. Celia had no idea she could 'inspire' but you would agree seeing her that she did this effortlessly.

HENRY', 'Elise's' love-of-her-life in the novel, has a more embellished love affair than PB had when 14 years old and had danced the Twist with a French girl (also 14, in Corsica, in the early '60s - this pure juvenile love affair was very helpful for this book's hero's infatuation. La Route's Elise (Celia D from T-sur-Loup)  has an English pop composer-artist as lover and eventually husband

PB had an angelic event in 2002 and naturally had never forgotten that! Angels seem to keep themselves to themselves, but an extra-extraordinary Visitation took place to PB, unsurprinsingly a life-changing experience.
The book is about an stubborn atheist meeting a very spiritual young woman, and their being denied marriage due to his lack of Faith, until an extraordinary range of events changed the atheism.

PB found that Elton John, Mick Jagger and Bono all have villas close to Tourrettes and so, as Piers had as a hobby and once semi-professional life writing pop music - some turned into Popera  'Musical' music (two performed so far, and FREYA touring the Dales last 2019 August), our hero usefully became a pop music writer as experience makes for authenticity.

Piers: "Only in this novel luckily, my heroine had an unfortunate incident at dusk when she was fifeteen, and seeks calm in a nearby fictitious Tourrettes-sur-Loup convent - there was once was a convent there: there for over a decade, Elise prays hard each day to see Henry again and does not the least stagnate. Not becoming a Novice,  (for reasons explained in the book) she teaches children English, picks violets for her mother, and re-reads Henry's poems and looks at his drawings he made for her until the type is almost completely faded.

Hero famed pop musician Henry, after a succession of failed relationships in London, returns to seek Elise out - a decade after their first kiss! That they renew their loving relationship is thus extraordinary. However, being under the Abbess' wing in her convent - another twist in the story - the very spiritually minded Elise is denied 'freedom' to marry the ardent atheist Henry.

It is the way he is suddenly and completely converted - to gain Elise - that is the startling climax of the story - followed by more startling revelations.

Many of the etchings in "La Route...' are on this www HERE
Here is a tiny etching, about the smallest in the book esp compared to below's Title and Jacket page image!..CAROLE PICKING VIOLETTES etching then digital enhancing)
This is a 4 x 3" etching going into the [hopefully] NEW edition of La Route- when a publisher found.
'Drawing in Renoir's Garden' is IN the story- so Piers went to Cagnes-sur-Mer and the huge garden in
Renoir's grounds and people posed! PB loves this etching - SO complex to print, however- so an
edition of just 20 for this tiny new July 2018 etching.

Here is the possible jacket cover (below)

The book size of the book (ed 500) is 25 x 17.5cms wide/ 9.75 x 7ins

Piers seeks an agent, then publisher and hopes a translator will be accosted to translate it written into french.

  ACCOLADES from the small, now pulped 1st edition....how much better the accolades should be with the main edition soon!

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Listed below are the 3 previous totally handmade books of which only the SONNETS book has copies still for sale... 'copies'  a bad word as all are totally original.
Slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, PB self-published  this handmade edition in 1985  and then it was mass published ed 4000 by Ashford Buchan & Enright 1988. [The handmade edition of 25 sold out in a matter of months and the mass edition went quickly too]

*WILLIAM WORDSWORTH: A LAKELAND ANTHOLOGY ed 10 slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, PB self- published 1990  and mass published ed 4000 by John Murray 1999 and  winning the illustrated book of that year (One copy bought by Felix Dennis in 2005 for £10,000 that patron gave it to the Wordsworth Centre at Dove Cottage in Grasmere.) Handmade edition of  10 sold out in a month, and likewise  the 4000 edition sold out.

  FOUR LEFT OF 20 slipcased 19" high x 12 wide, ed 20 (which PB would be happy at last to have published - he hasn't tried to 'til now) was another 3 year project finished in 2008. Ten have sold for many thousands to both the Bodleian Library in Oxford along with the Cambridge University Library for example. Approaching eight  'private' patrons only, he sold those for a worthy 4-figure sum and has thus left max of 4 as makes no attempt to sell them as word gets around. Price around £10k each

PB's handmade books are totally handmade, the type being usually handset by Hand & Eye Letterpress in London and the original etchings being bound in.
PB says it took him a month to be satisfied in the writing of each SONNETS FOR A SIREN sonnet alone -  there are 27 = about the time it takes him to make each of the 22 etchings.

Details of PB's handsome mass-edition, published books ages ago and often for sale on EBay or Amazon:
Foreword by Kinsgley Amis who loved Housman's verse, this was Piers' first handmade book (Edition of 25) and was begun whilst he was still at The Royal Academy Schools under the great Peter Greenham in 1972: PB finished it 10 years later.  One copy was donated to The National Trust in Shropshire and subsequently raised in those days a massive £5000 through a raffle.  The proceeds were put to good use buying land on the slopes of Wenlock Edge.  The mass publication came out in 1988 with a new edition later.  Although the new books are sold out, Amazon etc seems always to have a few used copies for sale.  The etchings were exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall's Poetry Library in 1996.  A few etchings are still some available from Piers, all 75 etchings contained were made in editions of 100.

Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: (defunct) Ashford Buchan & Enright (27 Sep 1988)   
ISBN-10: 1852530715
ISBN-13: 978-1852530716

'AN ELEGY IN ARCADY' - a black and white engraving-  illustrated  biography PB wrote and illustrated of A E Housman soon after he had completed the many colour etchings (1972-84) for A SHROPSHIRE LAD, his first success in the 'coffee-table sized book world book world.

This,Piers' second book, was then published again for the mass market by Ashford, Buchan & Enright and launched from Brewer's Hall in the City of London in 1989.  PB has in store not one copy of its edition (again 4000) left, but there are 4  boxed suites of book left from an edition of 25 (10 being 'harrowed' to sell the engravings separately when the artist's cashflow was tense! -  and all the engravings opposite the well inner-cased book  in a silver tooled presentation box, ingenious and smart.
Each  box contains the 33 engravings of about 6" x 8" high on handmade paper sized 11"x 14".  The handsome large, deep box has a cherry tree in silver-emboss on the front cover against a background of apple green, price on request  but in region of £4k per box


With a foreword by John Mortimer, Piers' third book was equal first in the WH Smith Illustrated Book of the Year Award, 1991. There are thirty-six selected Wordsworth poems with accompanying colour etchings and is a superb book for lovers of Wordsworth and the Lakeland landscape.  Both the handmade and reproduced book versions sold out ages ago, but many original etchings are still available from Piers or selected galleries.  This was, like 'A Shropshire Lad', originally handmade in an edition of 25 at a few thousand pounds each.

Hardcover: 98 pages
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (26 Sep 1991)
ISBN-10: 0719550033
ISBN-13: 978-0719550034


The second of four mass produced, non-handmade book from Piers. Only about 5 of 4000 remaining in PB stock - some in his galleries (see Stockist) and always from AMAZON!   A celebration of Wensleydale: in all its seasons, moods and times of day, it has proved a best seller with 75 etchings of the Dale therein, some not editioned out.

Hardcover: 100 pages
Publisher: Ashford Buchan & Enright (1994)
ISBN-10: 1852533021
ISBN-13: 978-1852533021
sold out like all PB's coffee-table books withing a year of publication...seek in Amazon etc.


Out in 2008,  'Sonnets for a Siren' is a handmade book only.  It was 5 years in the making, and contains 27 Sonnets which Piers wrote about requited and unrequited love, and is set in sea-orientated places.  The 19 etchings (half in colour the rest in black and white) were first drawn in places like Zennor (Cornwall), Freshwater Bay, Shanklin or Tennyson Down (Isle of Wight) or on the Argyll coast! (as you see in the sunset below)
The pages are 13" x 18" high and the beautiful type, with much airy space around, was set, as with all Piers' handmade books, by the best, Hand & Eye Letterpress of London; the binding, three left with covers in calfskin, 10 with cloth, is embossed with silver images front and back which was done by Shepherds of London.

Of all three handmade books, this one is 'purest', being most dignified and the most classically simple, the type again perfect, due to  expertise of Phil Abel at Hand & Eye.  A small catalogue can be sent to you gratis by Piers.
In July 2009, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the amazing Cambridge University Library, along with 7 private 'patrons', received their orders of a leather bound book.  In an edition of 20, all theirs are from ten leather bound copes in the edition, with the remaining ten, though similarly embossed with real silver on front and back jacket covers, are cloth bound, so a shade paler and £500 less than the £3500 price for leather-bound copies.

The etching shown here - "I'll miss the lurch, spurt, soar...." [v much about requited love!] is one bound in with handset type in the book one day PB may try and get mass published
Most of the small etchings - this one on the right is 5" high x 6 across - are entirely sea with some landscape orientated, and about 6 are larger at about 8 x 6 inches, with all 19 printed directly from the hand-inked plate, (hand-inked by the artist only) onto this large book's every-other-left page facing the one of the sonnets.
As each original print costs around £200, and the fantastic length of time and cost of printing and then binding was about £2000 each book, each Handmade Books must surely be a great bargain, especially as in the hands of an Agent/gallery the book would be more.

Costs of 'Sonnets for a Siren' (which is not mass produced yet fpr personal reasons) are £4750 per leather book and £4000 cloth. The cost NOW is near equal to that PB paid to make each book -  the binding and especially silver embossed jackets were a weighty price, but the time spent making the whole book meant it was indeed  a labour of love.

'LOVE IN THE AEGEAN' (32 pages, 22 poems,22 pictures: 1/2 PRICE @£5 each Signed) is in an edition of 200 privately and beautifully bound and sold by Piers from home. The POETRY LIBRARY in the Royal festival Hall have two copies & some are for sale in Hay-on-Wye's Poetry Bookshop. SOLD OUT

This was probably Britain's first E-book in that you can see every page and turning the pages is fun! -by logging onto: www.artists.ltd.uk/pb.... hope still working.
Only literally a  HUNDRED or so of the 4000 left, so £35 is the priceand £3.50 P&P. Some are available from PB's  galleries' stockists - see under either ETCHINGS or OILS FOR SALE for lists, as you may more than likely find a few signed copies still at any listed in the OILS or ETCHINGS for sale files on the www.  The major, constant suppliers for this book however are from Piers and the startling Tennants Auction House Shop in Leyburn.

The book contains nearly 170 reproduced etchings of trees in romantic landscape from John O'Groats to Lands End, and N Ireland to killarney in s.w.Eire. It was critically very well received. HRH Prince Charles wrote the Foreword and Prof David Bellamy wrote each tree species' Chapter starts.

DO click on trees on the Home Page - right side of main column, to see all...though poorly reproduced. A few etching have sold out . Piers is VERY keen to show what he has been hoarding:
a group of the ORIGINAL oils/watercolours/drawings + their resultant etchings as reproduced in this large book... galleries do enquire as that would make a lovely show.

To order quickly, tel 01969 650434 or email:piersbrowne@gmail.com

Melvyn Bragg:
"I am full of admiration for Piers Browne's beautiful etchings in his latest book".

David Astor, ex-chairman of the CPRE (which Piers wholeheartedly supports):
"Only someone who is both an accomplished artist and who cares passionately about the countryside could have produced such beautiful etchings as seen in the Wensleydale"

The Poetry Library bought a copy and had exhibited his etchings. Piers etches as much as paints - and still adores the Wenslydale landscape and British seascapes - but the fluidity and chance of immediate texture with oil paint is hard to beat.

Other comments on his work;

H.R.H Prince of Wales who wrote the foreword to the Trees book, wrote Piers after receiving his Wensleydale book:
"I find the etchings hauntingly and evocatively beautiful. In fact, having seen your work, I hardly dare do any more painting myself"

Giles Auty (for many years Spectator Art critic and now a critic in Australia):
"Piers is a true Romantic, dedicated simply to his art."

.....is a light (in all ways) is a slim volume imagined more than re-enacted in love poems made from experiences over the last two decades in mainly the Cycladic Isles of the Aegean and Turkey’s wonderful west coast.
In an Edition of 200 only (signed non handmade copies) this is PB’s 2011 illustrated poems  - (10 left March 2016)
They are real love poems, all 24, with 19 illustrations from oils done by the artist.
ANN PILLING the great children's book author and now prize-winning poet recently wrote of the book:
'Piers Browne's LOVE IN THE AEGEAN is warm with Mediterranean colour and light, a lyrical introduction to the place that gives him life'.
London's Royal Festival Hall's Poetry Library ordered and now have two copies, so do visit level 5 there to peruse

Cost £10 with £2.50 P&P - see Piers' address on the home page as exclusively available from him (left, two pages)

Have I 'arrived' for such pain to be inflicted and permanently left? What a fan
Ben Radlinski is, who inheriting his parent's collection of Piers' etchings from A SHROPSHIRE LAD  which they bought over the years from the late 70's, had his arm tatooed with one!
(Left"Hawthorn: towards the Wrekin and Wenlock Edge from Hope Bowdler Hill " )
Actually the etching is one of PB's favourites.  Most of the 40 or so etchings in the book were in editions of 100, so bound to be a few left.
'A Shropshire Lad', the book, is well sold out - available, like many, from Amazon.
An etching from A SHROPSHIRE LAD (below) then Piers  leaning on his Etching Press with one WILLIAM WORDSWORTH: A LAKELAND ANTHOLOGY handmade book.