This detailed study of the city of Gdansk (Danzig) in Poland, published in 1937 in both Polish and English versions, is an extraordinarily detailed and intensive portrait of an historic city, written by an academic with a deep love of his homeland.
Jan Kilarski (1882-1951) was a mathematician and physicist working in Sambir when he first visited Gdansk as leader of a school trip in 1913. After an academic career in Poznan he entered the world of publishing as editor of the monographic series 'Cuda Polski', himself writing the monograph "Gdansk" (1937). During the second World War he returned to teaching, first in schools and later taking private pupils. Under the German occupation he worked for the German Telepress agency, and was therefore later accused of collaboration, but remains well-known mainly because of the Gdansk monograph, which appeared in English in 1949.
Our book is in remarkably good condition for its age and format - few paperbacks of this size can have survived as well. Its plain ivory covers are protected by an outer card cover with a watercolour reproduction of a painting of Gdansk on the front, a list of the monographs in the series on the back, and the title etc in black lettering on the spine. The front portion of the outer cover is detached from the spine, but held in place by its fold-in flaps; the spine and back portions are still joined together, but the bottom fold-in at the back is missing, and the spine is largely detached from the text block. There is considerable wear to all edges. Inside, however, the sewn binding is generally firm with no loose pages. It is not clear whether there was once a page preceding the half title page - there is none present. Pages are all clean and only very slightly yellowed, having a 'vintage' feel. The text is liberally illustrated, and the last 2 pages provide 4 sketch maps showing different aspects of the city. Also included in this book is a cutting from the News Chronicle, August 30, 1939, entitled 'Poland's Story in Maps'.