RONALD SEARLE (1920-2011): A signed first edition copy of “Forty Drawings” by Ronald Searle, 1946
Ronald Searle (1920-2011): A signed first edition copy of “Forty Drawings” by Ronald Searle. The book is signed to front end paper “Ronald Searle”. Published by Cambridge University Press, 1946. Soft cover, in quarto size, with original card buff paper covered jacket. The book features forty drawings which detail Ronald Searle’s experience during the Second World War and the period in which he was held as a prisoner of war.
Dimensions: width 22.5cm x height 28.5cm
Condition report: Overall condition fair/ good – Cover with tears and losses throughout, heavy foxing to covers and end papers, spine with losses, binding with some looseness, pages with handling creases and discolouration/ surface dirt but generally in good order (see images).
Ronald William Fordham Searle CBE (1920-2011) was a hugely influential artist, illustrator and cartoonist. His work as the creator of St Trinian’s is probably his most famous but over a career that spanned nine decades, he worked on a vast number of projects. Searle came from humble beginnings, he began drawing aged 5 but upon leaving school at 14, he worked for the Co-Op. Searle, however, continued taking evening classes to further his education. His talent was spotted after he submitted cartoons to a local Cambridge newspaper and he won a full time scholarship.
With the onset of the Second World War, Searle then aged 19, enlisted with the Royal Engineers. In 1942 he was serving in Asia and was captured during the fall of Singapore. He was held as a prisoner of war from 1942 to 1945. Under extremely harrowing and brutal conditions Searle continued to draw – his archive of almost 300 drawings is an important first hand record of life in the prison camp – the collection is now held by the Imperial War Museum. Ronald Searle Forty Drawings is a collection of those works and first published soon after his release from the prison camp in October 1945.
Ronald Searle returned to Britain in 1945 and began producing St. Trinians (characters he had first drawn some years earlier – a St Trinian sketch was first published in Lilliput in 1941). His work began gaining recognition and he worked during the post war period as a cartoonist for many publications including Punch and Lilliput.
By the early 1960s Searle had relocated to France, and began to work more as a painter. His 1965 illustrations for Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and Monte Carlo or Bust in 1967 are some of the most recognisable of the era.
To read more about Ronald Searle see this recent article published in The Oldie https://www.theoldie.co.uk/blog/happy-100th-birthday-ronald-searle
For more pieces by Ronald Searle included in our store see RONALD SEARLE (1920-2011): A signed first edition copy of “The Female Approach”, 1949
Dimensions: Width 22.5cm x height 28.5cm
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Condition Report: Overall condition fair/ good – Cover with tears and losses throughout, heavy foxing to covers and end papers, spine with losses, binding with some looseness, pages with handling creases and discolouration/ surface dirt but generally in good order (see images).