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William Heath Robinson

Hamilton, James

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1851457194 / ISBN 13: 9781851457199
Published by Pavilion Books, London, 1992
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Hardcover in dustjacket. Small folio. Book is in fine condition in green cloth boards with gilt lettering on spine. Decorated endpapers. Unclipped dust jacket is in fine condition. Heavily illustrated. 151 pp. including chronology, family tree, bibliography, commissions, exhibitions, etc. Bookseller Inventory # 3528

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Bibliographic Details

Title: William Heath Robinson

Publisher: Pavilion Books, London

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First edition

About this title


William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) dreamed of a romantic life as an itinerant landscape painter. Instead, he remained in North London and became the greatest comic draughtsman of the century, and one of those rare individuals whose names have entered the language as adjectives. Although his name is now synonymous with any complicated, ramshackle mechanical apparatus for doing something relatively simple, the true Heath Robinson contraption was thought out with a child's solemn logic, executed with a craftsman's care, and accompanied by the ultimate in deadpan captions. In this first full account of William Heath Robinson's life and work, James Hamilton draws on the Robinson family archives to explore the personality of this convivial family man and deeply serious artist. He traces the influences on his art, the development of his uniquely individual humorous style, and the unexpected path that his career followed: the switch from landscapes to book illustration, and early success as illustrator of Poe, Rabelais and Hans Andersen; the creation of his engaging comic character Uncle Lubin, his cartoons for magazines, and the First World War anti-German satires which earned him an enthusiastic following. James Hamilton rounds off his account of Heath Robinson's career with detailed appendices, including a chronology of his life, a discussion of his sources, a comprehensive bibliography of books illustrated by him, and lists of his exhibitions, advertizing work and ephemera, as well as the recently discovered Shakespeare illustrations, examples of which are published here for the first time.

From the Publisher:

The British artist William Heath Robinson (1872­1944) dreamed in his youth of leading a romantic life as an itinerant landscape painter. Instead, he stayed home and became the greatest comic draftsman of the century. His name became synonymous with outrageously complicated devices for carrying out the most basic tasks, contraptions that he thought out with solemn logic, executed with precision, and explained with the ultimate in deadpan captions. Here, James Hamilton takes a fresh look at the life and work of this deeply serious artist. He traces his influences, the development of his uniquely humorous style, and the paths of his career, from landscapes to book illustration, with his early success as illustrator of Poe, Cervantes, and Andersen. In this comprehensive work, featuring 145 images, Hamilton reaffirms Heath Robinson’s place alongside the classic illustrators of his generation.

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Store Description

Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9.5 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail All items are guaranteed as described. We ship all books well protected in bubble wrap and boxes. Bo...

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