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About Britain
The thirteen guide books that comprise this series provide both a tangible reminder of the Festival of Britain and a celebration of its ethos.

"The Festival shows how the British people, with their energy and natural resources, contribute to civilisation. So the guide books as well celebrate a European country alert, ready for the future". - Geoffrey Grigson.

Their distinctive format, choice of authors and illustrators, quality of production and selling price, are all reminiscent of the King Penguin and Britain in Pictures series.

"Not everyone has ten shillings or fifteen shillings to spend on a fat topographical volume. Here are 94 pages of lively matter including upwards of 50 illustrations for a very reasonable price". - Dustwrapper blurb.

The poet Geoffrey Grigson was both general editor and author of two of the titles. Among the illustrators who provided the colour frontis pieces where Barbara Jones, Kenneth Rowentree and S.R. Badmin.

All the guides follow the same format; a written portrait by the credited author, a gazetteer (mostly by H. G. Stokes) and motorist tour maps drawn by K.C. Jordan. (The maps rather remind one of Ogilby's 1675 road atlas.)

Collins published the series for the Festival of Britain Office, in two separate issues. Numbers 1-10 in March 1951 and 11-13 in August of the same year. These later volumes are generally held to be most difficult to find, with 13 being the scarcest. They are all increasingly difficult to find in clean dustwrappers.

The Series
  1  West Country by Geoffrey Grigson.
  2  Wessex by Geoffrey Grigson.
  3  Home Counties by R. S. R. Fitter.
  4  East Anglia by R. H. Mottram.
  5  Chilterns to Black Country by W. G. Hoskins.
  6  South Wales and the Marches by W. J. Gruffydd.
  7  North Wales and the Marches by W. J. Gruffydd.
  8  East Midlands and the Peak by W. G. Hoskins.
  9  Lancashire and Yorkshire by Leo Walmsley.
10  The Lakes and Tyneside by Sid Chaplin.
11  The Lowlands of Scotland by John R Allan.
12  The Highlands and Islands of Scotland by A. Dunnett.
13  Northern Ireland by E. Estyn Evans.

Each Volume contains 94 pages profusely illustrated in black- and-white and colour. Published price was three shillings and six pence.

Stock
A complete set of thirteen volumes. Apart from the occasional blemish and a little very light foxing, mostly to the inner edges of the dustwrappers and the closed page edges, a near fine set in similar dustwrappers. £125.00 including postage and packing. Book Ref # 25290808.

We
always have individual tiles from this series in stock in very good to fine condition and occasionally fine sets. Please email us for details.

The Cover of Northern Ireland

 

 

Title Page of East Midlands by Barbara Jones

 

 

Title Page of South Wales by Barbara Jones

 

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