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HENNELL, Thomas.


London, Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford, 1936 Stock Code: 93013
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First edition, first impression. Uncommon, apparently just four locations on Copac. Thomas Hennell may be largely forgotten today, but was seen as a painter in the tradition of Constable, Cox and Samuel Palmer. Carel Weight, Professor of Painting at the RCA describing him as "the greatest water-colourist that England produced in the twentieth century." A friend of Ravilious and Bawden - the latter remarking that they both regarded him as "a man of genius," the former providing woodcuts for limited edition of the present volume - Hennell was a student at the Regent Street Polytechnic, and in 1929 became an art teacher in Bath. In 1932, two years after he had become a full-time painter, he was committed to the London County Lunatic Asylum at Claybury suffering from schizophrenia. He was discharged in 1935 and returned to his home village of Ridley, Kent, where his sketching and writing became part of a continuing process of recovery, in 1936 publishing this collection of poems. He was selected for Sir Kenneth Clark's 'Recording Britain' scheme in 1940, and later became an official war artist replacing Ravilious - who was "missing in action" - in Iceland, then in 1944 accompanying Allied forces in the invasion of North-west Europe. Sent in May 1945 to record aspects of the War in India and Burma, he was kidnapped by Indonesian terrorists in Batavia, reported missing, and later presumed dead.

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Octavo. Original black cloth, lettered in white On the upper board


A little rubbed at the extremities, later collector's bookplate to the front pastedown, very good.


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