Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

image for History Review: Illingworth's War in Cartoons, by Mark Bryant. Not as good as Illingworth. Or Low... or Strube.

Sub-titled One Hundred of his Greatest Drawings from the Daily Mail, 1939-1945 this is an attempt to raise Illingworth's profile to something approaching that enjoyed by his contemporaries David Low and Sydney Strube.

Ken Lucid writes:

This is great! Another effort by Mark Bryant. Recent books about Low and Strube were by his arch-enemy, Timothy S Benson and in fact Benson did one on Illingworth last year (though Benson's effort went up to 1969).

So the battle goes on.

If you listen very carefully you can hear them gnashing their teeth at each other. Brilliant! (I have more than a passing interest in the field, myself, but I stay out of this ruck!)

It's like this: Benson is a big wig with some political cartoon organisation and he and Bryant seem to have had some sort of falling out years ago. It is so ace when academics fall out!

(Nev Lozenge at Warwick tried it on with me at a conference once - something about the Kaiser's war council of 1912, but we sorted it out in the bar. We're OK now - we're like the AJP Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper of the 21st century).

I've just checked - the book sales section at Benson's organisation has Benson's books… anyone's books but Bryant's! Neat!

Anyway, it's all a bit daft, because the real stars in these books are, of course, the cartoons.

This is a good example of Bryant's work… I've liked his previous stuff (oh, look him up on Amazon - he's done loads). Maybe between 'em he and Benson have done Illingworth a favour.

Now play nice, lads!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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