Can you trust yourself when you don’t know who you are? Syme uses his new acquaintance to
go undercover in Europe’s Central Anarchist Council and infiltrate their deadly mission,
even managing to have himself voted to the position of ‘Thursday’. In a park in London,
secret policeman Gabriel Syme strikes up a conversation with an anarchist.
to do his duty, when Syme discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, however, he
starts to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe
begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies.
But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has - its leader: a man named
Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined. …
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Penguin Press Designer Corali Bickford-Smith on Penguin Reds' Boys Own Books which include The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Man Who Was Thursday, The Riddle of the Sands, The Lost World, She and The Prisoner of Zenda.
I wanted the covers to have action-packed illustrations, and to hark back to the golden age of adventure books. I did a lot of research, particularly in the London Library, getting a feel of books from the period. One book I found brilliant for lettering inspiration was Nineteenth century ornamented Typefaces by Nicolete Gray. I made the decision to control the use of colour to give the series a strong identity, while each cover individually contains elements - particularly the typography - appropriate to the time it was first published.
There is an unashamed nostalgia about them, though they aren't facsimilies of old books - they are designed to have a freshness and appeal for younger readers encountering these stories for the first time, as well as for their parents' and grandparents' generations. I spent a lot of time reading each book and picked out the action scenes I thought would make strong illustrations. Then I drew roughs and passed these over to different illustrators and got a lettering artist on board to recreate the type I had found. I really enjoyed working on this project and I think that comes through in the finished product.