The Western Front
CLEAN, CRISP COPY IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
Published: Country Life by authority of the War Office, 1917
Stock code: 4533
Roy. 4to., First Edition, with 20 fine full-page tinted plates and an illustration in the text; original pictorial wrappers, front wrapper (only) stained, uncut edges a lightly frayed as often else a remarkably crisp, clean copy.
Sir Muirhead Bone (1876-1953) created much of his finest work as Official Artist on the Western Front in WWI. The culmination of this period is his striking series of drawings (over 200 in all) published as 'The Western Front' (1916-17). Issued in ten monthly parts, each number contained 20 plates captioned on the facing page with text by C.E. Montague and prefaced by a short introduction by GHQ (it is believed that the introduction to the first part was penned personally by Douglas Haig). The original parts were later combined and sold as two bound volumes (volume one comprising parts 1-5 and volume two parts 6-10). The parts were sometimes loosely themed, e.g. 'Trench Scenery', 'The Battle of Arras', but whatever the subject the best of his work is quite outstanding. '[Bone] brings the contrasts and the anonynimity of that First World War to life in chalk and pencil. Bone was particularly good at observing vast industrial activity and in showing myriad figures from above, a sort of Piranesi in reverse' 'Houfe' (1978). Copies of the original issues are uncommon, especially in this condition. Enser, p.26.