London: London Transport, 1936-80. 12mo. 39 volumes. A collection. Paperback originals. Cover and headpiece engravings by Eric Ravilious (unacknowledged until 1966). Photographic plates, including some by Eric Hosking. Line drawn route maps for each walk. Most volumes are a little rubbed, with some splits and small loss to the wrappers on the pre-war copies. Two have original glassine jackets and three have promotional 'belly bands'. A few corners creased but contents clean and generally very good +. Item #5775
A series that is indelibly linked for collectors with the charming wood engravings by Eric Ravilious. It is odd, therefore, that it took until the 1966 edition of the Third Series for London Transport to acknowledge his artwork. The 1974 edition of the First Series (confusingly called 'Book One') tries to make amends: 'The engraving used on the cover of this book is part of a series of designs produced by Eric Ravilious for London Transport Publicity in 1936. Ravilious taught at the Royal College of Art from 1930 to 1937 and established a lasting reputation for himself as one of the foremost wood engravers before his tragic death over Iceland in 1942. The Ravilious wood engravings illustrate rural scenes and the complete series have been used on London Transport's 'Country Walks' books over the years'. Country Walks 1977-78 edition seems to be a new volume complete in itself and not part of the first, second or third series. It is the final issue to have a Ravilious engraving on the cover. The last volume is called 'Country Walks Around London' (1980). It clearly belongs with the earlier books but the new title is just one of the changes. The authors are Leigh Hatts and Ron Pigram, the line drawn maps are replaced by Ordnance Survey sections and the cover is a fairly nondescript photograph (by one of the authors). Charles White was the author of all three series before the war. Get your boots on.
This is likely to be a complete collection of 'Country Walks' editions, as follows:
First series: 1. 1936; 2. 1938 (revised); 3. 1939 (revised); 4. 1939 (revised again); 5. [1950?]; 6. [1952?]; 7. 1956; 8. 1957; 9. 1961; 10. 1964; 11. 1968/69; 12. 1969; 13. 1971; 14. 1974.
Second series: 1. 1936; 2. 1938 (revised); 3. 1939 (revised); 4. 1954 ('fourth edition'); 5. 1959; 6. 1963; 7. 1967; 8. 1970/71; 9. 1970/71 (revised and decimal price on cover); 10. 1973; 11. 1976; 12. 1976/77.
Third series: 1. 1937; 2. 1939 (revised); 3. 1939 (revised again); 4. 1958; 5. 1962; 6. 1966; 7. 1969/70; 8. 1972; 9. 1972/73; 10. 1975; 11. 1975/76.
Country Walks 1977/78 and Country Walks Around London (1980).
Scarce and highly collectable.