The Romantic Road By Guy Rawlence

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910, England. Artist:  Wilmot Lunt. City of postmark unknown.

Price:  $30.00

The postcard artist

The beautiful artwork for this postcard is that of the frontispiece (the page adjacent to the title page of a book) and is signed Wilmot Lunt. He was Samuel Wilmot Lunt (1856 – 1939) painter and cartoonist, and was also the illustrator for R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. For more on Lunt see James Malone Farrell’s article,  “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing”  published in Cartoons Magazine, July 1918.

The reverse of the card shows:

“This book is by a cousin of mine and it would be so kind if you would ask for it in your Library. It is really quite readable and he is anxious[?] to [?] know[?] as it is his first book. Love, D. D.”

Addressed to:   “W.[?] Arthur Dolphin[?]  The College, Durham”

A great find

This postcard turns out to have been a pretty neat find:  It’s not in the best of shape but is seemingly rare, the only one found so far, plus the note to the addressee contains a little insight regarding the author’s feelings, according to his cousin, about the release of his first book. Some of the sender’s handwriting is difficult to read, but I think the word there is “anxious” rather than “curious” and who would not be anxious regarding the reception of their first major work?

Armchair research

It’s a little surprising (same for the postcard artist) that there is no Wikipedia or similar type entry yet on the author; we found mention of over twenty titles to his credit. Our web post here will not be in-depth, as that would require much more research, so we’ll just offer instead bits and pieces gleaned from the usual sources, including an article we found in which the author is quoted. But it’s fascinating how a little fact-finding can get the imagination going….while pulling up bits of information one pictures pieces of a puzzle starting to take shape. For instance, for me, I’m surmising Guy Lawrence liked dogs (therefor I like him) as he did at least four books about dogs, Doings In Dogland (1905), Biffin & Buffin (1934), Tob and His Dog (1938) and Bob et Bobby (1963) the latter being in french, and written with Julianna Ewing. But then after coming across an ad for sheepdog-training that stressed the necessity of correct instruction (the working dog would be vital to the livestock holder) next to a mention of James Rawlence, Esq., Guy’s grandfather, agriculturist and livestock breeder, it hit me that Guy probably grew up around dogs. Not that this is any great revelation, or not that one wouldn’t have assumed this anyway, but at this point this “dog” puzzle piece became something specific to the whole picture; it shimmered into view, and that seemed charming. But, I guess the bottom line is that our imagination about someone else’s life tells us, for sure, something about ourselves, and possibly, if we’ve intuited correctly, something about the person in question.

Guy Rawlence (1888 – 1971)

Edward Guy Rawlence was born March 10, 1888, baptized May 10, 1888 in Wilton, Wiltshire County, England, son of James Edward Rawlence, whose occupation at the time was given as auctioneer, and Constance (maiden name Vivian) Rawlence. That’s livestock auctioneer for J. E. Rawlence, as J. E.’s father (Guy’s grandfather) was James Rawlence, a very prominent land agent, agriculturist and livestock breeder in the area. Judging from a number of newspaper articles, Guy Rawlence’s stories received mostly positive reviews. The Romantic Road, published in 1910, was found mentioned in the following “snippet” view in the publication, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 34, and informs us that this book about a “girl highwayman” was well-reviewed and the story setting was largely in the author’s backyard. Rawlence would have been about twenty-two when it was published.

Prior to 1910, we found mention of a short story, The White Cavalier, circa 1905, and as previously stated, the children’s book Doings in Dogland (1905). The Highwayman, published in 1911, may have been, judging by the date, Rawlence’s second novel. Click the link to see the eBook.

Below, we were happy to come across this article, in which the author is quoted, from The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927.

Gushing reviews for Three Score & Ten, appeared in London’s The Observer, October 16, 1924.

Another book we’d like to read, in addition to the above, per the review that appeared in The Observer, November 17, 1935.

Sources:  Lunt, Wilmot 1856 – 1939. https://www.artbiogs.co.uk/1/artists/lunt-wilmot (accessed November 5, 2018).

Farrell, James Malone. “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing.”  Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 14. July 1918.

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Chippenham, Wiltshire, England; Reference Number: 1873/1. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

“Rawlence, Guy 1888 – ” http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50-54036/ (accessed November 5, 2018).

James Rawlence obituary. Goddard, Edward. H. (ed.) The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 27. June 1894. p. 70.

“The Romantic Road.” The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 1910, Vol. 34. p. 641. Snippet view, Google.com.

Rawlence, Guy. “The White Cavalier.”  The Idler:  An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 28. October 1905 – March 1906. (Google ebook.)

Rawlence, Guy. The Highwayman. New York:  W. J. Watt & Co., 1911. (Google ebook.)

“Guy Rawlence.” The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927. Friday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Three Score & Ten.” The Observer (London, England). October 16, 1924. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“Mother Christmas.” The Observer (London, England). November 17, 1935. Sunday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).