Whilst pondering which book from our 41,000+ stock I could write about for our 'featured book' article this month, I happened to glance up at the shelf in front of me and there was 'Brushes & Bayonets' by Lucinda Gosling, calling to me.
This is a book of Cartoons, Sketches and Paintings ofWorld War I. Not being particularly interested in World War I (I never was a fan of history), it must have been the 'Cartoons, Sketches and Paintings' part of the title that caught my eye, as well as the dimensions of the book - it is large (9.75" high x 12" across) and heavy (1.5kg).
'It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but during World War I newspaper illustrations were worth far more, not only conveying the news to anxious families at home but also entertaining the troops on the front line and lifting the spirits of a nation at war. This thematic collection of 250 illustrations taken from the archives of the Illustrated London News includes the whole range of magazine and newspaper imagery, from light-hearted strip cartoons and line drawings, through political comment to poignant sketches and paintings. The selection features well-known illustrators, such as Bruce Bairnsfather, W. Heath Robinson and Fortunino Matania, lesser-known artists and also illustrations by men in the trenches. A valuable source for historians (that word again!), many of these illustrations are published for the first time in 90 years, and together they are a unique, bittersweet portrayal of the Great War.' *