Societal anxiety, the Thelwell way...
I am an incorrigible collector of illustrated books. I have shelves full of vintage volumes from various countries dating from the 19th Century to the 80s full of gorgeous illustrations... Obviously, my budget is minuscule and I have often had to put back on the shelf/stall the books I was dying to buy but couldn't afford...
I have now ran out of shelf space and am thinking hard about what to do about it... If I had the money to commission a carpenter to install built-in shelving all around the house, I would... Alas, it is not to be!
One of my favourite illustrators is Norman Thelwell, and I am in love with all the animals he has drawn - especially the plump "Thelwell ponies". I do have quite a few books full of them, and intend on acquiring more in the future! His illustrations, if often hilarious, do make serious points about society and human (as well as animal) behaviour.
Last week, though, I came across "The Effluent Society". As I flicked through the pages, I was struck by how modern it all felt; the book was published in 1971 and it is really shocking - and sad - to see that with all our talk of beach cleaning, river pollution, overcrowding and overbuilding, we cannot pretend that we didn't know: it was already happening 50 years ago!
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