Monday, November 8, 2010

And Now For Something Not Completely Different: More BBC Cover Art

As promised, here are more covers of BBC Hand Books/Year Books from the World War II era (and immediately afterward). I don't have a complete set of dustjackets, and am missing the middle years of the war (if you have the dustjackets for 1942, 1943 and/or 1944, please let me know--I'd love to see the artwork and include in a subsequent post--please scan and send my way if you can).

It's interesting to examine the progression in how the war was perceived, as depicted on these covers.

The earliest edition shown here (from January 1940) is fairly obvious in its depiction of common implements of the Phoney War--a radio (though not one of a size you'd likely carry with you over to France), a helmet, a kit bag. By January 1941, one could argue the war (which had taken a turn for the worse in the previous months) isn't even acknowledged, though the radio tower seems to be the only source of light (hope, optimism, etc.) for the otherwise darkened globe.

By January 1945 (in spite of the Battle of the Bulge), the Allies are well on their way to victory, and the cover art already looks pretty victorious.

The 1946 edition is, perhaps, the most haunting--a solitary dove of peace takes flight above a bombed-out city. By 1947, the cover art is almost jubilant, with fairy musicians floating about and above the crowded London streets (though if you look closely, you'll see that a "lorry" has pinned a pedestrian on the street in front of Broadcasting House--not sure what that's all about).

For more radio-related cover art, please check out these earlier I STILL LOVE RADIO posts:

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