Friday, March 18, 2016


Cover page - Military Aspects of the Continental ProblemIn 1911, Winston Spencer Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, wrote a secret memorandum entitled Military Aspects of the Continental Problem in which he stated "a decision has been arrived at to employ a British military force on the Continent of Europe." Showcasing his "foresighted statesmanship," this document is only one of several in a small but robust collection of Churchill memorabilia given to Rauner in the 1990s by Frederick Forsch, Dartmouth Class of 1937. Forsch, a passionate collector of Churchilliana, had amassed one of the best private collections of Winston Churchill material that included letters to prime minister David Lloyd George, journalists Adam Marshall Diston and Henry Lucy, and many others as well as extensive correspondence with Admiral Sir Roger Keyes.

Churchill letter to "Sambo"Some of the letters are more personal, such as the one addressed to "Sambo," Churchill's Indian servant. In October 1899, when Churchill was twenty-four and on his way to cover the Boer War as special correspondent of the Morning Post, he responds to a request from Sambo "to come to the war" by advising him how to travel to South Africa. However, it appears that Sambo did not meet up with Churchill in the end, as there is no mention of him in any of Churchill's writings about that time.

Another exciting part of this collection is the pen and ink political cartoons of Winston Churchill by prominent cartoonist of the time, including Ernest H. Shepard, Sydney Strube, Edmund Dulac, David Low and Vicky, which appeared in the magazine Punch and the Morning Leader, Daily Express, Pall Mall Gazette and News Chronicle.

Adolf  in Blunderland cartoonA particularly good example is this cartoon by Baron Benjamin entitled Adolf in Blunderland which depicts Hitler as Alice, astonished at the pack of cards bearing the names of such battles as El Alamein and Naples rising up into the air, with Goebbels as the knave on the left and a be-swastika'd white rabbit in the front. The cartoon was published in the Egyptian Mail newspaper on November 6, 1943.

Two Historians CartoonThis cartoon by Ernest H. Shepard entitled Two Historians depicts Churchill seated at a desk engaged in writing. Besides the desk is the figure of Julius Caesar holding a volume lettered "De Bello Gallico." It appears that Churchill must be working on the second volume of The Second World War, as the first volume, The Gathering Storm, is already on the shelf. The caption reads, "Do you ever wonder what a treat this is going to be for the schoolboys of 4000 A.D.?"

H Bomb cartoon
Another cartoon by Benjamin entitled H Bomb, for a cover of Punch magazine in 1954, depicts Churchill as Punch seated pen in hand at an easel where Uncle Sam appears on the canvas. The cartoon satirizes the fact that in the House of Commons on March 30, 1954, then Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a speech supporting the United States' development of the hydrogen bomb.

To see these and other items in the collection ask for MS-788, the Forsch collection on Winston Churchill.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Typographic Humor

Cover to "The Advertiser's Typographic Manual"Typographers tend to be a humorless lot when it comes to matters of design, but they love to have fun with the ostentatious excesses of their craft. Case in point: display advertising and the adman's gimmicks.

This book, The Advertiser's Typographic Manual, which sports such an aesthetically pleasing gold-stamped cover, is from the book collection of Dartmouth's legendary Ray Nash. Nash founded the Graphic Arts Workshop (now the Book Arts Workshop) and trained generations of talented typographers in the basement of Baker Library. We opened the book to see what advice it had to offer would-be advertisers and discovered a completely blank book. At first we figured it was a publisher's dummy (a mock up for a book) but then saw what a good joke it must have been for Nash. The complete typographic knowledge of the advertising world could be summed up with a book that contained absolutely nothing. You can just picture Nash pulling it off of a shelf and handing it to a student interested in advertising, and saying "Here's all you need to know."

Interior "text" to Advertiser's Typographic Manual
Of course we could be all wrong--it could be a mock up for a book that never made it into print, and we are just reading into it an elaborate joke. But, really, why would Nash keep it?

We are still trying to figure out how to catalog this one, but when we do, we'll add a link to the catalog record so you can see it yourself. [August 23, 2016: we figured it out. Ask for Rauner Nash HF5825 N374 1940z].