About the book
First published in 1938, this classic book introduces the British high street, pairing the timeless illustrations of beloved artist Eric Ravilious with an engaging text by architectural historian J. M. Richards. Shops include the family butcher, the cheesemonger, the knife grinder, and the oyster bar. Only 2,000 copies of the original book were printed before the lithographic plates were destroyed in the London Blitz during World War II. As a result, it has become one of the most collectible of all artist’s books from this period. This beautiful facsimile edition features Ravilious’s illustrations in exquisite color and includes an essay by V&A curator Gill Saunders, putting the book and its history into context.
About the authorEric Ravilious
(1903–1942) was a painter, designer, illustrator, and wood engraver and remains one of the best-known English artists of the 1930s. He died at 39 while on service as an Official War Artist in WWII. Sir J. M. Richards
(1907–1992) was the editor of the Architectural Review
from 1937 to 1971 and architectural correspondent for the London Times
for more than 20 years. Gill Saunders
is a senior curator at the V&A.