Dec 26 2011: Three Near-Identical Cover Illustrations Featuring Stags (The Nature Reader, 1929 – 1930)

What better for Boxing Day than a series of identical stags, as featured on the cover of London and Glasgow based publisher Charles & Son’s The Nature Reader during the period between February 1929 and October 1930? The use of the illustration on slightly varied paper stocks gives a sense of something almost Warhol-like to the otherwise very traditional drawing, probably derived from the work of Edwin Landseer (there’s at least a passing resemblance between these stags and the famous one in Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen (1851), a work pastiched, with apparent sincerity, by the British Pop Artist Peter Blake, sometime around 1966). The magazines themselves are small (around 5 x 7 inches) so clearly designed to fit a standard jacket pocket easily, and contain information on things to look out for in the natural world each month: for August 1929, moorhens, the corn cockle flowerand the Magpie Moth are featured, while in February that same year, the issue offered many insights into the behaviour of the skylark, the best places to look for early flowering coltsfoot and groundsel and notes guiding the intrepid forager towards some edible wild salad plants likely to be available at this time of year.

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