ROBINSON, William Heath (author and illustrator). Bill The Minder. London, Constable & Co. Ltd. 1912.
4to. Original green cloth with large onlaid pictorial label to upper board, surrounded by rococo flourishes in gilt, top edges green; pp. [xvi] + 254; illustrated with 16 fine coloured plates mounted-at-large and protected by captioned tissues alongside line drawings throughout in profusion; a fine copy in exceptional condition, both internally and externally.
First edition of this sought after, and elusive, children's classic by the famed cartoonist and inventor of whimsically elaborate machines to complete basic everyday tasks. The name Heath Robinson has entered the lexicon to describe a particular brand of British eccentricity. In this fairy tale Heath Robinson weaves together a ridiculous, and riotous, series of events which exploit this talent. The main protagonist, a 15 year-old-boy named Bill, devises an array of gadgets to solve the problems of the eccentric characters he meets on his adventures. They include characters as diverse as the green-toed button crane of Baraboo and a Sicilian cleaning lady. Given the task of looking after his younger cousins Boadicea and Chad, Bill and the two youngsters enjoy a loosely connected series of mind-bending experiences as the story unfurls.