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Book Description

8vo. First edition. Original yellow cloth decorated in purple. Illustrated in line and colour by the author. With extra, loosely-inserted, black and white illustration, “‘Sumer is icumen in’ Uffington 1935”, which includes the author as a flautist. Ink presentation, ‘For John in gratitude, from Osbert’, on the title page. The extra illustration has a pencil note by John Rayner that it was given to him by ‘J Murray’ and Rayner has made a few neat pencil notes on the rear free endpaper. Two newspaper reviews and the ‘belly band’ for the Book Society’s non-fiction choice loosely inserted. Fine in fine d/w.
Dealer Notes
The first clipping is from the Evening Standard, Tuesday, June 6, 1967 and is Tom Driberg’s review. ‘I shall always recall with pride that his celebrated pocket cartoons, now front-paged, first appeared in the column I used to write there [Daily Express]; they had the additional merit of relieving me of about three inches of writing space.’ The second review is from The Times, Thursday June 1 1967, which quotes the passage towards the end of this book describing the historic encounter with John Rayner, then Features Editor of the Daily Express. ‘One evening after dinner I mentioned to him how much I admired the little column-width cartoons which regularly appeared in the French papers and wondered why the English press had never adopted them. “Go ahead, give us some” was his unexpected but gratifying reaction, and on the first day of 1939 I embarked on a career which, thanks to the mercy of God and the tolerance of editors, has continued ever since.’ John Rayner (1908-90) had published the Shell Guide to Hampshire in 1937 and so shared Lancaster’s love of architecture too. A very nice association copy, although it does seem a little stingy that he didn’t receive one of the limited edition special copies and had to get that issue’s additional illustration from Jock Murray.
Author Lancaster, Osbert
Date 1967
Publisher London, John Murray

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