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London Opinion

Watergate House, York Buildings, Adelphi, London, W.C.


London Opinion was an inexpensive weekly humorous paper costing 1 penny in 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War. It was printed on thin acidic paper which becomes very brittle and yellow with time (as you will see below), so single issues from this period rarely survive. The few issues I have are in a bound volume bought from a dealer in California. The paper also published a summer annual, mostly of cartoons and stories, costing 1 shilling, and a Christmas Extra issue, costing 3 pence. These were more substantial, printed on better paper, and so are more likely to survive. All weekly issues between January 1914 (vol 40) and June 1920 (volume 65) have been inspected. Not all Summer and Christmas numbers during that period have been seen. The summer numbers were smaller, so were not bound with the main paper. It is quite possible that other cartoons by Blampied have been published in this title.

Blampied mostly contributed cartoons which, I suspect, were sold to the paper by Marianne van Abbé, who acted as his agent in 1914, both before and after they married on 4th August. In 1915 he provided caricatures of German military men: Grand Duke Nicholas, General von Hindenburg and Marshall von der Goltz, presumably drawn from photographs. Blampied's drawings appeared on two covers of the title, on 2nd May 1914 and his last contribution, on 8th December 1917, after he had joined the Royal Jersey Garrison Batallion.

The artist Alfred Leete drew the picture shown left, of Lord Kitchener, which was first reproduced on the cover of London Opinion and then became a national recruiting poster for the war.


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The most famous cover of the paper, designed by Alfred Leete


Published: Weekly from March 1904 to April 1954, when it merged with Men Only.

Price in 1914: 1 penny; Summer number 1 shilling; Christmas number 3 pence.

Numbering: Volume of 12 or 13 issues per quarter, all issues sequentially numbered

Pages: 48 pages in 1914, all pages were numbered sequentially within each volume.

Dimensions: approx 280 x 215 mm

Editor: Lincoln Springfield

Art Editor: Louis Mayer

Printer: Odhams Limited, 93 and 94 Long Acre, London, W.C.

Blampied issues: 26

Type: MO = monochrome drawing; CO = colour drawing; the number indicates the number of drawings or pages.



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— 1914 —


Issue: 3-Jan-1914, vol. 40, no. 511, page 24. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Marie: I wonder how old you are? Julia: I just told you my age. Marie: Yes, that's what set me wondering.

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Issue: 24-Jan-1914, vol. 40, no. 514, page 145. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon: First dogmaniac: So Stella got her separation all right. Second ditto: Do tell me - who is to have custody of the Pom?

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Issue: 7-Feb-1914, vol. 40, no. 516, page 251. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon: I'm going to marry an aviator - black suits me so well.

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Issue: 14-Feb-1914, vol. 40, no. 517, page 279. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: The doubtful compliment. Cartoon. She: Oh there goes Peggy Brown! Isn't she lovely? I wish I was half as good looking. He: Oh, but you are!

[The original drawing was sold at Christies South Kensington sale of Modern British and Continental Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings on 26th January 1989, lot 5, for £495.]

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Issue: 21-Feb-1914, vol. 40, no. 518, page 324. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: How could he?. The girl: Do you enjoy music with meals? The man: Rather! The girl: What do you prefer - a waltz? The man: No, a chew-step!

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Issue: 1-May-1914, vol. 41, Summer Annual 1914, page 21. Price: 1s. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. EFFIE: 'Do you think he will love me when I am old?' ELSIE: 'There's one consolation - you will soon know.'

[Historical note: the women are sitting on the steps of bathing machines, which were pulled into the sea on wheels so that women could change within and then enter the water without being exposed to the view of other people.]

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Issue: 1-May-1914, vol. 41, Summer Annual 1914, page 45. Price: 1s. Type: MO1. Title: An unexpected development. Author: P.A. Fowler.

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Issue: 2-May-1914, vol. 41, no. 528, Cover. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: The ruling passion. Poem by R Mertun. [No image available]


Issue: 9-May-1914, vol. 41, no. 529, page 246. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Mistress: Haven't you any references. Maid: I have, but they're like my photographs - none of them do me justice. [No image available]


Issue: 16-May-1914, vol. 41, no. 530, page 300. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. She: Marry you? Why you'd be the last man on earth I'd marry. He: I hope so, if I am to be the first. [No image available]


Issue: 23-May-1914, vol. 41, no. 531, page 354. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. First onlooker: She doesn't sing with much feeling. Second ditto: Not for her audience. [No image available]


Issue: 30-May-1914, vol. 41, no. 532, page 396. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Wife: In a battle of tongues, a woman can always hold her own. Husband: But she never does. [No image available]


Issue: 4-Jul-1914, vol. 42, no. 537, page 16. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Stella: I heard you had a terrible experience. Bella: Yes; I was rescued from drowning by another girl. [No image available]


Issue: 8-Aug-1914, vol. 42, no. 542, page 254. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Well, dearest, I'll speak to your father tomorrow, you might put him in a good temper for me. Yes, I'll be so beastly obstinate that he'll be positively grateful to you for taking me off his hands. [No image available]


Issue: 14-Nov-1914, vol. 43, no. 556, page 200. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Another hero. Cartoon. Fifi: Have you heard of my engagement? Mimi: No - er - who's the plucky man? [No image available]


Issue: 14-Nov-1914, vol. 43, no. 556, page 214. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: The German Crown Prince. A Caricature by E. Blampied. [No image available]


Issue: 21-Nov-1914, vol. 43, no. 557, page 232. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Husband: For goodness sake, what did you get a dress like that for Maria? Wife: I wanted to look a little chic. Husband: Well you don't. You look like a full grown hen. [No image available]


Issue: 12-Dec-1914, vol. 43, no. 560, page 357. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Bridget scores. Cartoon. Mistress: Bridget, it always seems to me that the worst mistress gets the best cooks. Cook: Ah, go on wid yer blarney. [No image available]


Issue: 19-Dec-1914, vol. 43, no. 561, page 384. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Cartoon. Asistant: Yes, miss. All face powders have gone up in price on account of the war. Young lady: Oh, isn't war terrible. [No image available]


Issue: Dec-1914, vol. 43, 'Xmas' Xtra 1914, page 20. Price: 3d. Type: MO1. Title: The Mystery of the Bracelets. Author: Herbert Flowerdew.

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Issue: Dec-1914, vol. 43, 'Xmas' Xtra 1914, page 36. Price: 3d. Type: MO1. Title: A Perfect Understanding. Author: T. Hodgkinson.

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— 1915 —


Issue: 2-Jan-1915, vol. 44, no. 563, page 7. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Thorough. Cartoon. He: When I proposed to Flossie, she asked me for a little time to make up her mind. She (the hated rival): Oh! So she makes that up too, does she? [No image available]


Issue: 23-Jan-1915, vol. 44, no. 566, page 109. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Grand Duke Nicholas. (A caricature by Blampied). [No image available]


Issue: 6-Feb-1915, vol. 44, no. 568, page 172. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: General von Hindenburg. (A caricature by Blampied). [No image available]


Issue: 20-Feb-1915, vol. 44, no. 570, page 237. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Field Marshall von der Goltz. (A caricature by Blampied). [No image available]


Issue: May-1915, vol. 44, no. , Summer Annual 1915, page 79. Price: 1s. Type: MO1. Title: Helping Cynthia. Author: Leonard K Unwin.

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— 1916 —


Issue: 1-Jan-1916, vol. 48, no. 615, page 24. Price: 1d. Type: MO1. Title: Me and My model. E. Blampied. Tit for Tat. [No image available]


— 1917 —


Issue: 18-Aug-1917, vol. 54, no. 700, page 190. Price: 2d. Type: MO1. Title: While the ship sinks. Private Ikey: "Quick! Quick!! Any von vant to buy a real gold vatch and chain?". [No image available]


Issue: 8-Dec-1917, vol. 60, no. 716, Cover. Price: 2d. Type: MO1. Title: Our home defence. Cupid: "My category 'C' is nothing. [No image available]

[The original drawing was in an auction at Christies South Kensington sale of Modern British and Continental Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings on 26th January 1989, lot 4. It was unsold.]