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The Legion Book / edited by Captain H. Cotton Minchin

Captain H. Cotton Minchin

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London: Privately printed at the Curwen Press, 1929

Physical Description

ix, 241 pages, 45 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 32 cm.

General Note

Capital initials printed in red, engraved title-vignette by Stephen Gooden RA, 18 plates printed in various techniques, some on china, many signed, and 32 collotypes. Portrait frontispiece of King George V by Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope RA.
"One hundred copies of this edition of the Legion book have been printed at the Curwen Press, London. The hand-made paper has been specifically made by J. Barcham Green and Sons Maidstone, Kent. The design on the jacket is by Charles Rickett, R.A. and the engraving on the title page is by Stephen Gooden." -- Colophon.

Also issued in trade edition and special limited edition of 600 copies.
“Callotype plates by Charles Whittingham & Griggs, London. Line blocks made by Emery Walker Limited, London. Text set in Lutetia Monotype.”


Dedication -- Editor's Note / James Humphrey Cotton Minchin -- Memorable days / John Galsworthy -- Scarlatt / Hugh Walpole -- The English way / Rudyard Kipling -- Earl Haig / Winston S. Churchill -- Thomas Atkins / Edgar Wallace -- Debtors who have short memories / Arnold Bennett -- The window / Robet Bridges -- History / Laurence Binyon -- Pussycat pennefather / Margaret Kennedy -- The cicadas / Aldous Huxley -- Colonel Beech's bear / David Garnett -- Du côté de chez Renard / Henry Newbolt -- Wilt thou leave me thus? / A.E. Coppard -- The muse absent / J.C. Squire -- The door / Storm Jameson -- Disentangling old Percy / P.G. Wodehouse -- Uncle Wat / by John Drinkwater -- From the serenade to the amaryllis / Gilbert Murry -- A postscript / Edmund Blunden -- To St. Michael, in time of peace / by G.K. Chesterton -- On prophets / Hilaire Belloc -- Veni Creator! / Humbert Wolfe -- This bantam star / W.H. Davies -- Up from Gigal / by Sarah Gertrude Millin -- Caribbean waters / F. Tennyson Jesse -- The Scotch rhapsody from 'Façade' / Edith Sitwell -- Elegy / Rebecca West -- Forever and forever / Bliss Carman -- Sussex revisited / Sheila Kaye-Smith -- Black tarn / V. Sackville-West -- The three numbers / Sapper [pseud. of Herman Cyril Mcneile] -- The image / Walter de la Mare -- The Prince consort / Reginald Berkeley.

Summary Note

The Legion book was published to raise funds for the British Legion under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII.

It comprises 50 illustrations by prominent artists and 33 articles, stories and poems by leading writers of the day. Most of the literary and artistic contributions in this volume appeared nowhere else.

The contributors include: Authors: Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, P.G. Wodehouse, Aldous Huxley, Edith Sitwell, Vita Sackville-West, Edmund Blunden, A.E. Coppard, Walter de la Mare, John Galsworthy, G.K. Chesterton, and Rebecca West. Artists: Edward Bawden, Eric Gill, Eric Kennington, William Nicholson, John Singer Sargent, Clare Leighton, Eric Ravilious, Stephen Gooden, David Low, Laura Riding, William Rothenstein, Augustus John, Jacob Epstein, John Nash, Paul Nash and Laura Knight. British Prime Ministers: David Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin, Ramsey MacDonald. French Prime Minister: George Clemenceau.

There are five pages of 85 contributors’ signatures following the Dedication pages. The signatures of three British Prime Ministers [Stanley Baldwin, Ramsey MacDonald, David Lloyd George], on the page opposite Collotype No. 3 and that of the French Prime Minister George Clemenceau one the page opposite Collotype No. 20.

Copy Note

"One hundred copies of this edition of the Legion book have been printed, no copies are for sale, as all are held in the gift of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. [The future King Edward VIII]. This is number 22" -- Preliminary page.

Binding Note

Original white pigskin binding designed by Charles Ricketts RA with gilt fillets, corner ornament and central ornament on upper cover. Both covers and spine with a blind linear design. Top edge gilt.

In gilt at the tail of the rear paste-down endpaper: "Bound by Wood, London". [Presumably H.T. Wood & Son].

Spine lettered in gilt: “The Legion Book. 1929.” Housed in original, numbered, fleece-lined red buckram clamshell box.

Name as Subject


Calotypes, Talbotypes


Edward VIII King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Charles Ricketts RA, binding designer
Stephen Gooden RA, illustrator
Sir Emery Walker, printer
Edward Bawden RA, artist\designer
Eric Gill ARA, artist\designer
Eric Kennington RA, artist\designer
Sir William Nicholson, artist\designer
John Singer Sargent RA, artist\designer
Clare Leighton, artist\designer
Eric Ravilious, artist\designer
Sir David Low, artist\designer
Sir William Rothenstein, artist\designer
Augustus John RA, artist\designer
John Nash RA, artist\designer
Sir Jacob Epstein, artist\designer
Paul Nash, artist\designer
Dame Laura Knight RA, artist\designer
Sir Winston Churchill, contributor
Rudyard Kipling, contributor
P.G. Wodehouse, contributor
Laura Riding, contributor
Aldous Huxley, contributor
Dame Edith Sitwell, contributor
Vita Sackville-West, contributor
Edmund Blunden, contributor
A.E. Coppard, contributor
Walter de la Mare, contributor
John Galsworthy, contributor
, contributor
G. K. Chesterton, contributor
Rebecca West, contributor
The Curwen Press, printer
Hayle Mill (Maidstone), paper manufacturer
C. Whittingham & Griggs (Printers) Ltd., printer
Emery Walker (London), printer
Henry T. Wood & Sons, binder