Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Remembering Sebastian Walker
A visit to David Maybury's excellent blog lead me to a short article by the novelist Julie Myerson about Sebastian Walker, founder of Walker Books.
Like Julie, (who was Julie Pike in those days), I was very fond of and somewhat in awe of Sebastian without ever feeling I got to know him at all well.
He was a little bit awkward when it came to small talk, and I was young and a bit reserved myself then. But I remember Sebastian as a very inspiring person, and, in the way that he spoiled his illustrators and authors, and in the grand style in which he entertained us, he made us feel we were the most important ingredients in the very special process of creating books for children.
He was a uniquely talented individual, and I think it is true to say that, through Walker Books, he helped to transform the world of Children's Books very much for the better.
His sister Mirabel Cecil wrote a nice memoir of Sebastian after his premature death in 1991. It was called A Kind of Prospero, and is well worth a read as a portrait of a very interesting man and for the anecdotes it contains on the early days of Walker Books.