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The Captain’s Chair.

A Story of the North.

Published: London: Hodder & Stoughton Limited, 1938

Stock code: 75728

Price: £575

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the title page, “To Jack Beddington via John Grierson –horn blower and then some! With all good wishes, Cafe Royal, London, August 7 – 1938”. An excellent association linking one of the pioneers of documentary film with one of its most notable patrons. The author, Robert Flaherty, is best known for his 1922 film, Nanook of the North, and is regarded, along with his close friend, John Grierson, as one of the fathers of documentary film. As publicity director at Shell and BP, Jack Beddington had commissioned John Betjeman’s Shell Country Guides and been responsible for the famous poster campaigned that had commissioned work from Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, McKnight Kauffer, Edward Bawden, and Rex Whistler, among others. He also produced films through the Shell Film Unit, established on Grierson’s recommendation and quickly recognised for the imaginative style of its projects. During the war he became director of the Ministry of Information’s Film Division, focusing on the production of documentary films but also enabling the making of feature films like One of Our Aircraft is Missing, A Canterbury Tale, and A Matter of Life and Death.

Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine in black, map front endpapers. With the dust jacket. Spine rolled, loss of size from boards, spotting to edges of contents. A good copy in the rubbed and browned jacket with a chip from the head of the spine panel affecting the title and two tape repairs to the verso.

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