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When the Wind Blows signed by Raymond Briggs first edition 1982

When the Wind Blows signed by Raymond Briggs first edition 1982


London: Hamish Hamilton, 1982


Folio, pictorial boards showing an illustration of a couple embracing in front of a mushroom explosion cloud; priced £3.95 net to rear board; grey cloth-effect endpapers; unpaginated [pp.xl]; illustrated throughout in a comic-strip style with text and full colour illustrations by Briggs; a very good copy, light marking and denting to edges of boards; head and foot of spine a little bruised; a previous owner has drawn a ‘Peace’ sign in ink to the verso of ffep, along with a contemporary date ‘Christmas ‘82’ in ink; else a very bright and clean example. 


First edition of this Cold-War inspired publication, signed and dated ‘2008’ by the author to the title page. 


Briggs decided to use Jim and Hilda Bloggs, characters he had previously created in Gentleman Jim, to tell the sobering story of a nuclear attack on Britain by the Soviet Union. After hearing about hostilities on the radio, the couple decide to create a fallout shelter in their garden. When the bombs fall, the couple manage to take shelter in time but in attempting to continue their day to day life too soon after the attack expose themselves to the devastating effects of radiation. Combining gentle comedy with dark undertones - Hilda comments on the lovely sunny weather caused by the bomb, and the couple discuss the milkman’s late appearance due to the road being ‘funny’ - Briggs succeeds in creating a powerful and graphic account from the perspective of an author who grew up in the shadow of the cold war. 


The book was inspired in part by a pamphlet originally produced in the 1930s entitled Protect and Survive, and later updated to Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack in the 1960s, and in the wake of the Cuban Missile crisis. Briggs, along with several others, was highly critical of the information provided, and highlights the inadequacies by providing real information taken directly from the publication - whitewashing windows to reflect the heat from the blast, and making lean-to doors to protect against the effects of radiation. 


A very rare title by Briggs to find signed.

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