Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Off the shelf: Scouting for Boys 1

I thought this week I’d post some images from ‘Scouting for Boys’ by Lord Baden-Powell, first published in 1908 in weekly instalments. My copy, a fifteenth edition, is from 1930 and was given to my Dad on his 13th birthday in 1937.
The book was the fourth highest-selling of the 20th Century and contains a wealth of information about survival techniques or ‘woodcraft’. These include how to make a shelter, a rope bridge or a boat, how to find North without a compass, how to work out the width of a river or the height of a tree, how to save someone’s life, how to start a fire, make bread etc.
Having been written 100 years ago it is also suffused with the prejudices of the time and this is encapsulated in the drawings which Baden-Powell drew himself, some of which are absurdly funny. Here's the cover which isn't funny but shows the spirit of the British Empire.

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