Archie & the Strict Baptists
Illustrated by Phillida Gili
John Murray, printed by W & J Mackay Ltd, Chatham, 1977.
Hardback; 190 x 250 mm; yellow boards with titles in gold on spine, and gold pictorial of a bear on the front cover; unpaginated; illustrations in colour throughout. Original unclipped dust jacket.
The book is in very good, near fine, condition. The binding is sound. Some bumping to the edges of the dust jacket.
Archibald Ormsby-Gore, better known as Archie, was the teddy-bear of English poet laureate John Betjeman. Together with a toy elephant known as Jumbo, he was a lifelong companion of Betjeman's.
“This story of Archibald Ormsby Gore, the bear, was written by John Betjeman for his family when they lived at Uffington in Berkshire under the shadow of the White Horse. Since childhood Archie, whose Christian name came from one of George Robey’s music-hall songs, has been an inseparable companion – like his master he is now getting on in years. This book tells of his youthful adventures while hunting for history, and flying with home-made wings (what might now be called hang-gliding) over the Berkshire Downs and over the village in the valley with its church, its four chapels and four public houses. When he wrote it John Betjeman made rough sketches to accompany the story, and Phillida Gili, the daughter of the artist and engraver Reynolds Stone, has interpreted these sketches into full colour illustrations which delightfully portray both Archie’s unusual character and his adventurous spirit.”