More Rain, More Reading

Cecil Walter Bacon, MSIA (24 August 1905 – 12 August 1992), who signed his work “CWB“, was a British artist and illustrator.[1] Much of his work was in the art deco style.

Bacon was born in Battle, Sussex, England, where his father was a businessman who ran a tannery.[1]He was educated at Sutton Valence SchoolSt Lawrence College, Ramsgate, and Hastings School of Art, being at the latter from 1923 to 1925, when he was taught by Philip Cole.[1] In 1926, he began working for an advertising agency on London, before turning freelance in 1929.[1] Between 1932 and 1935 he designed a number of posters for London Transport.[2]

During World War II, he served in the Royal Air Force as a Leading Aircraftsman, before, in 1942, being assigned to work producing propaganda artwork for the Ministry of Information.[1][2]

He worked regularly for the Radio Times and in 1943, during the war, he drew an illustration for the Christmas edition, depicting a soldier holding a sprig of holly.[3]

After the war, he produced designs for, among others, British Railways[2] and the Post Office Savings Bank.[1]He was adept at scraperboard work, and in 1951 wrote a book on the topic.[2] He also illustrated a number of books, and designed book jackets, including those for first editions of early works by Raymond Chandler.

Bacon married Irene Proctor in 1929; they had two sons.[1] He died on 12 August 1992.[1] A number of his posters are in the collection of the London Transport Museum.[2] A retrospective exhibition, Designer’s Progress, took place in 1984 at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.[1]

It was Bacon whose excellent illustrations adorned

of which this is the title-page and frontispiece,

and this, the book jacket to the collection of essays each originally published variously in the Spectator, Country Life, Christian Science Monitor and West Country Magazine.

I have chosen, in posting these pages from the collection, not to write my own review, but to leave the judgement of Church’s writing in those sections of text that accompany some of the pictures provided by Bacon, to you, my readers.

In the earlier days of my book collecting I subscribed to a number of dealers regular lists, then slipped the entries into the books. In this case the entry provided me with the publication date of 1951, which is not given in the book, perhaps because each essay would have had a different date when originally published.

I will provide a further selection the next time it doesn’t make sense to leave the house.

This evening we all dined on beef burgers, some of which contained jalapeños, and two consisting of haloumi; fresh salad; and chips, with which Jackie drank more of the Zesty and I drank Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages 2021