It's All a Bit Heath Robinson : Re-Inventing the First World War, Paperback


William Heath Robinson remains one of Britain's best-loved illustrators and has embedded himself into English vernacular, inspiring the phrase 'it's all a bit Heath Robinson' to describe any precarious or unnecessarily complex contraption. Born in London, he originally had ambitions to be a landscape painter, but would establish his artistic reputation as a book illustrator during the genre's so-called golden age.

It was his association with weekly illustrated magazine The Sketch that was to launch and cement his legacy as a humorous artist.

Combining a distinctive draughtsmanship with a curious and ingenious mind, the advent of the First World War inspired Heath Robinson to dream up a series of increasingly outlandish and bizarre military inventions with which the opposing armies would try to outwit each other.

From the kaiser's campaigning car or a suggestion for an armoured bayonet curler, to post-war 'unbullying' of beef, his cartoons are a fantastically absurd take on wartime technology and home-front life. Sadly, his inventions were rejected by a (fictitious) 'Inventions Board', but the charm and eccentricity of his ideas was loved by the public and he remains to this day one of the finest exponents of humorous British art.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages, 80 black & white illustrations, 70 colour illustrations
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General & world history
  • ISBN: 9780750955942



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Also by Lucinda Gosling In Association With Mary Evans Picture Library