Great War Britain: The First World War at Home

The declaration of war in August 1914 was to change Britain and British society irrevocably as conflict came to dominate almost every aspect of civilian life for the next four years. Popular weekly magazines such as The Tatler, The Sketch and The Queen, recorded the national preoccupations of the time and in particular, the upper-class experience of war. Targeted at a well-heeled, largely female audience, these magazines were veteran reporters of aristocratic balls, the latest Parisian fashions and society engagements, but quickly adapted to war-like conditions without ever quite losing their gossipy essence. Fashion soon found itself jostling for position with items on patriotic fundraising, and Court presentations were replaced by notes on nursing convalescent soldiers. The result is a fascinating, at times amusing and uniquely feminine perspective of life on the home front during the First World War.

A Better 'Ole

The much-loved Captain Bruce Bairnsfather was the most popular cartoonist of the First World War, who captured the spirit and stoicism of the typical British Tommy in his cartoons for The Bystander magazine. Portraying a series of types ranging from nervous raw recruits to his famous creation the wise-cracking, walrus-moustached grump Old Bill Bairnsfather s trench humour was a morale-boosting tonic during the darkest of times. The wit and wisdom of his characters found an instant fan base among the magazine's readership, both at the front and among civilians at home, and soon his pictures were being published as portfolios known as Fragments from France , later reproduced on a vast range of merchandise. Old Bill became a star of the stage and the silver screen, while Bairnsfather was created Officer Cartoonist by the War Office and invited to work his magic for the French, Italian and American armies. A Better Ole brings together more than 100 of Bairnsfather s Great War cartoons from The Bystander, which forms part of The Illustrated London News archive, and examines the remarkable career of a man who General Sir Ian Hamilton declared had relieved the strain of war and drawn a smile from sadness itself by his skill in poking fun at tragedy 

Knitting for Tommy

During the First World War a knitting craze swept across Britain, as women everywhere wanted to kit out their Tommies with socks, mittens, balaclavas, vests, jumpers and all manner of knitwear - some more graciously received than others! Millions of socks were sent from the home front to the fighting fronts in a bid to wage war on the dreaded trench foot and thoughtful knitters would often tuck a love note or simple message into parcels to offer extra cheer to the soldier far from home. Knitting for Tommy explores the knitting craze through magazine adverts, postcards, cartoons and photographs of the day, as well as offering a guide to kitting out your own First World War Tommy using original knitting patterns.

Goodbye Old Man

The History Press 2014. 1st Edition. Part Colour illustrations. For the first half of the twentieth century, the hugely talented artist Fortunino Matania captured some of the world's most memorable and iconic moments. From the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to the coronations of three British monarchs, this Italian-born illustrator recorded almost every major event as 'special artist' for popular illustrated magazine The Sphere. The apogee of his prolific output was during the First World War when he produced paintings on a weekly basis, recording in breathtakingly realistic detail the multi-faceted nature of the conflict and often visiting the front in order to gather material for his pictures. Contains over 100 images brought together for the first time. 144 pages. Size: 7" x 7" (170mm x 190mm). ISBN: 9780750955973.