Heath Robinson: How to Be a Motorist

W. Heath Robinson

Heath Robinson: How to Be a Motorist

W. Heath Robinson

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

With Commentaries by K. R. G. Browne
128 pages | 111 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 1/4 | © 2015
Cloth $17.50 ISBN: 9781851244348 Published June 2015 For sale in North America only
Heath Robinson (1872–1944) is Britain’s “Gadget King”—master of the art of creating madcap contraptions that made use of ropes, weights, and pulleys to perform relatively simple tasks, from wart removal to peeling potatoes. Although he trained as a painter and also worked as a book illustrator, Robinson developed his forte with drawings of gadgets that parodied the absurdities of modern life. A true cartoonist, Robinson had a way of getting at the heart of the matter while simultaneously satirizing it mercilessly. He became a household name in Britain, and his popularity continues today with plans to build a museum in London to share with a new generation the story of his life and work.

For the car enthusiast, How to Be a Motorist offers a compendium of Robinson’s wonderfully inventive car-based contraptions, with innovations like a handy “zip-opening bonnet,” a rear wheel to turn the car around with one movement, and a fork attachment to help rural motorists to avoid the occasional chicken on the roadway. The days of unsolicited driving advice could be over with the realization of Robinson’s “duo car for the incompatible,” and the book also includes a parody of a production line demonstrating how cars are made.

A side-splittingly funny collection from the man whose “absurd, beautiful drawings” H. G. Wells claimed “give me a peculiar pleasure of the mind like nothing else in the world,” this book make a perfect gift for anyone looking to have a laugh at our complicated and increasingly mechanical modern life.
Contents
Dedication
Introduction
How a Car Works
How to Choose a Car
How to Drive a Car
Maintenance and Simple Repairs
Road Sense and Etiquette
Special Bodies
Accessories
Foreign Touring and Caravan Life
Tailpiece
Review Quotes
Octane
“This charming book presents such innovations as the ‘Zip-Opening Bonnet,’ the ‘Duo-car for the incompatible,’ and the handy ‘New Rear Wheel Gear for Turning the Car in One Movement.’ Our favorite is his suggestion of a large question mark, that car drivers can use to ‘indicte doubt as to the next move’ which remains as appropriate as ever.”
Good Book Guide
“The blend of Robinson’s witty illustrations and caustic commentary from the pen of K. R. G. Browne is beguiling. How to be a Motorist was penned for the novice motorist, and whilst some aspects of the book—like the emphasis on male drivers—are outdated, most of its contents remains humorously pertinent today.”
Aston Martin Owners Club
“Amusing. . . . The text by K. R. G. Browne is quite amusing but it is for the humorous illustrations, all on a motoring theme that one recommends this book.”
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