Monday, February 16, 2015

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON Illustrations by Walter Goetz

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON by Pierre Daninos, with illustrations by Walter Goetz, was one of a series of Major Thompson books. This one is copyright 1957 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

It started in 1955 with MAJOR THOMPSON LIVES IN FRANCE AND DISCOVERS THE FRENCH, which spoofed British and American ways of life. The book was culled from a series of columns Mr. Daninos had written for the magazine Le Figaro. It was a surprise success, translated into 28 languages, and, of course, sequels came along, through the year 2000.

This is the book I have. The first sequel to the original. I loved the ink line of Walter Goetz, and his ability to put quite a lot of detail into these pen drawings, while still maintaining a looseness of line. He was a self-taught artist, born in Cologne, Germany in 1911. He was educated in Great Britain, and became a naturalized citizen in 1934. While he painted landscapes, he was also a prolific humorous illustrator and cartoonist, with his work appearing in Punch and many of the publications of the time.

Pierre Daninos obituary from The Independent (2005)
Short Regent House Gallery bio of Walter Goetz

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