The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion. Various, Captain James Humphrey Cotton Minchin, dozens of contributing authors and artists.
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion
The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion

The Legion Book, #149 of 500 copies issued thus signed by the editor, H. Cotton Minchin, this copy being extraordinary for also featuring the signature of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the sponsor of the volume and patron of the Legion

London: Privately printed by The Curwen Press for H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, 1929. First edition, limited issue, signed. Hardcover. The Legion Book was published as an appreciation of the British Legion and their support for ex-Service men and their families. This is copy #149 of the limited issue of the first edition, noteworthy for being signed not only by the Editor, but also by the volume’s sponsor, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and, after abdication, the Duke of Windsor). The text and illustrations were contributed by a stunning constellation of dozens of leading lights in British literature and arts. The Prince of Wales took a personal interest in the preparation and sale proceeds were dedicated to the British Legion. Among the many notable writers who contributed were Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, Winston Churchill, Aldous Huxley, Rudyard Kipling, Vita Sackville-West, Hugh Walpole, and P.G. Wodehouse. Artists contributing illustrations included Edward Bawden, Eric Gill, Augustus John, Eric Kennington, Clare Leighton, William Nicholson, Eric Ravilious, and William Rothenstein. The book was edited by James Humphrey Cotton Minchin (1894-1966), a WWI veteran of the Cameronians and the Royal Flying Corps. Trade editions ran to multiple printings and are common. But there was also a 600-copy limited issue of the first edition. The first 100 of these were elaborately bound, signed by 90 luminaries, and reserved by the Prince of Wales, in his gift. The remaining 500 copies of the limited issue were numbered and signed by the Editor. Although they were bound in cloth, like the trade issue, they are considerably larger in size – 12.875 x 10 inches (32.7 x 25.4 cm) versus the trade edition’s 11.5 x 9.25 inches (29.2 x 23.5 cm). Moreover, the cloth of the 500 limited issue copies signed by the editor is an entirely different orange-tan color rather than deep maroon of the trade issue. Exceptionally, this particular copy, #149 of the 500 is also signed by The Prince of Wales as “Edward. P.” Condition of this unusual copy is very good overall. The cloth binding is square and tight with mild scuffing and soiling and light wear to extremities. The contents are clean. We note no previous ownership marks. The top edge gilt remains bright. The untrimmed fore and bottom edges are clean apart from mild age-toning. Spotting is trivial, confined to just a few scattered spots within and on the bottom edge of the text block. The First World War is often eclipsed by the conflagrations of the latter part of the twentieth century, notably the Second World War and Cold War. But it was the First World War that truly stunned civilization, ushering an age of inconceivable carnage and industrialized brutality. When war came in August 1914, prevailing sentiment held that the conflict would be decisive and short. “You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees,” Kaiser Wilhelm assured his troops leaving for the front. More than four extraordinarily bloody years followed, lasting until the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. In his own history of WWI, Winston Churchill wrote: “Overwhelming populations, unlimited resources, measureless sacrifice… could not prevail for fifty months…” The British Empire alone suffered more than 900,000 dead and two million wounded. At the end of WWI, the pension for a totally disabled man was only 30 shillings a week and no claim could be made seven years after discharge. In May 1921 several ex-servicemen’s organizations were amalgamated to form the Royal British Legion. Thereafter, the Legion actively involved itself with employment and pensions for both able and disabled ex-servicemen or their dependents. The Legion Book was commissioned by the Legion’s patron, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. Sale proceeds were dedicated to the Legion. Bibliographic reference: Cohen B38.1, Woods B12(a). Item #004959

Price: $1,150.00