Kenyon, Ley

Bennett Ley Kenyon was born in Chelsea, London, in 1913; he attended the Central School of Arts & Crafts in London and also studied in Paris. He was a professional artist between the wars. Kenyon was a true war hero, one of the forgers in the WWII Great Escape; he advised on the book and the film. After capture he continued to paint on scraps of paper from the Red Cross parcels. His skill was noticed and he was the forger of the documents for the escape committee. His work was so fine that it damaged his eyesight. He painted and taught painting all his life till his death in 1991.
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The Overloaded Ark, 1st edn 1953 (Gerald M Durrell)Gerald (here Gerald M.) Durrell's first book was The Overloaded Ark describing his first expedition in 1947/8 to British Cameroon; it was published by Faber & Faber in 1953. His fee from Fabers was a mere £50, although he later made £500 from the US Viking Press edition. This is the jacket for the first printing, which was also used without modification for the reissue later the same year by The Book Society.

Jacket illustration by Ley Kenyon.

ReproJacket #59-A-1, size 223.2x507mm.