We pick out some discoveries and random selections from our stock…
The Jungle Book, Macmillan & Co. Ltd, 1924
This copy of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling caught my eye for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it looks like it has a swastika on the front cover and on the title page. What? Was Rudyard Kipling associated with the Nazi party? Of course not. This edition was published in 1924, way before the symbol was widely in use by the Nazis. Kipling came across the swastika because it was an ancient Hindu good luck symbol, frequently used at the start of Hindu account books for prosperity. Kipling himself ended its use on his books after the swastika became the symbol of the Nazis.
The second thing that interested me was that a lot of the illustrations were done by John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard’s father. I never knew that his father illustrated Kipling’s books. Talented family! It’s an interesting book, since the illustrations are done by three different artists: J.L Kipling, W.H. Drake and P. Frenzeny, and they are all of a very different style. Not something you would see in modern books, with publishers usually opting for more of a consistent design.
Good-Night, Prof, Love, Oxford University Press, 1973
Good-night, Prof, Love is a book I’ve never heard of. I picked it out because of the bright cover, and probably because of the odd punctuation in the title. It only has seven ratings on Goodreads, so I guess most of you have never heard of it either. But based on the blurb and having read a random page, I think it sounds intriguing and will probably add it to my TBR list. John Rowe Townsend was apparently an expert on Children’s literature, and wrote Written for Children: An Outline of English Children’s Literature, the definitive work on the subject at the time of writing in 1965. He also won an award for his work The Intruder (1969) which was made into a television series and also sounds worth a read.
Drawn from Memory, Penguin, 1976
Drawn from Memory is the autobiography of Ernest H. Shepard, who was of course best known for his illustrations in Winnie-the-Pooh. A quick flick through the book shows that it’s chock full of Shepard’s wonderful drawings, this time illustrating chapters from his own childhood, including the Jubilee, pantomimes at Drury Lane and trips to Eastbourne. What’s also nice is that it includes a couple of illustrations that he drew when he was a child such as this one:
What a great illustration of how naturally talented he was and how his drawings elolved and became more refined over time.
I have to confess to not being the biggest fan of autobiography, but who can resist one when it is full of such lovely illustrations?