THE THEATRE OF WAR

OSTROWSKA, Wanda and Viola G. GARVIN. London’s Glory.

London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1945.

4to, pp. 51, [5]; with twenty plates of watercolours; a little light toning, generally a very good copy in the original publisher’s cloth, lightly sunned to head and spine; presentation note of Charles B. Cochran to James to the title.

£75

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First edition, a poignant collection of paintings of war-torn London by the Polish artist-in-exile Wanda Ostrowska, accompanied by extracts from her own writings and narrative by Viola Garvin.

Cochran was one of the leading lights of English theatre in the 1920s and 30s, discovering numerous talents, including Noel Coward, and revolutionising the London stage through his lavish productions. Curtailed by the war from production, the break and stimulus of the war years was to enable his ideas to ferment, producing many of his greatest productions.

Severely arthritic in his old age, Cochran met a terrible though theatrical death, scalding himself to death at home in his bath when unable to lean forward to turn off the tap.

‘James’ of the inscription is likely Edward James, the wealthy husband of one of Cochran’s favourite performers, Tilly Losch.

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