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“I will not try to describe the horrid sight of houses spilled across the streets instead of standing upright, of gunfire and screaming and whistling bombs, while we sit in the basement feeling it must be us next.”

Blitz: Letters from London September and October 1940
Evelyn Lister, Susan Allix
London, 2014

On September 7, 1940 the German Luftwaffe began bombing London and other British cities for over 50 consecutive nights.

From the artist’s statement: “As it will never be possible to have this same experience, designing the book seemed sometimes similar to creating an historical novel. Descriptions, film, artifacts and related reconstructions can help to provide brief windows and snapshots of the time…”

From the colophon: “The letters between Mildred, ‘Billie,’ and Evelyn, “Ana,’ are selected from a small collection that came to light when Billie died. They are accompanied here by later prints and photographs. Of the 5 photographs, 3 were taken in the early 1960s with a ‘box Brownie’ camera. The handwriting is reproduced from the original letters. The aquatints, printed in black and brown with hand colouring, are from drawings made at demolition sites and in the underground. The burning and smoking give different results on each copy. The letterpress is hand set and printed in 18pt. Grotesque 215 with 12pt. Grotesque Italic and 18pt. Granby Light Italic. The paper is Saunders Waterford.”

Bound in black goatskin and light brown textured handmade paper, with morocco, reversed leather, and metallic onlays. Issued in slate gray cloth clamshell slipcase. Edition of fifteen copies. Rare Books copy is no. 14, signed by the artist/bookmaker, Susan Allix.

“Earls Court tube is full of poor folk at night, with rugs and eats spread out on the platform; it’s an awful sight as you know how stuffy and dirty the deep undergrounds are, and all the people bring their little children with them.”

“You’ll have some idea of the state of the collapse and debris when I tell you that there are still 4 bodies that they can’t reach…”

Somewhere in the world, something similar is happening now.