London: Hutchinson & Co., ca. 1939. Robinson, W. Heath. Hardcover. Duodecimo size, 126 pp. Near fine / very good. Item #CNJWEM026
William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) was an exemplary book illustrator and cartoonist, "the only British illustrator to become a 'household name'" (Houfe), a contemporary of acclaimed illustrators Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, best known for his cartoons portraying elaborate and whimsical machinary made to complete simple tasks. In fact, his fame was such that the term "Heath Robinson" was used in the United Kingdom to refer to such machinary, much as the term "Rube Goldberg" was used in the United States.
In this book, Robinson puts his talents to use in explaining "how to be a motorist", with his inimitable tongue-in-cheek illustrations highlighting chapters such as "How a Car Works", "How to Drive a Car", "Maintenance and Simple Repairs", and - our favourite - "Road Sense and Etiquette".
___DESCRIPTION: Full red cloth, black lettering and illustration on the front board, black lettering on the spine, top edge stained red, endpapers with black-and-white illustrations, title page with line drawing in black by W. Heath Robinson, line drawings in black by Robinson throughout; duodecimo size (7.5" by 5"), pagination: [i-vi] vii-ix [x] [1-2] 3-116. In a red paper dust jacket with wraparound black-and-white illustration, white and black lettering on the front panel and spine, a description of the book on the front flap, and a list of books from the publisher on the rear flap; the dust jacket is unclipped with the original price of 5'-net on the spine.
___CONDITION: Near fine, with clean boards, perfectly straight corners that are unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, and the interior is clean and bright; light sunning to the spine most noticeable at the head and tail, off-setting to the free endpapers, a few slightly cracked gutters (but text block still strong), and a humorous prior owner inscription on the front free endpaper, dated "Xmas 39". The dust jacket is very good, unclipped, clean overall, the colours to the front and back panels still deep and bright; with sunning to the spine, light overall edgewear the most noticeable being a small chip out of the tail of the spine (no loss of text) and another chip from the top of the rear panel near the spine, and light foxing to the verso.
___CITATIONS: Horne pp. 373-374; Houfe p. 282; Beare no. 237a.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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