Very Heath Robinson is my latest book, published May 2017. In it, I explore the delightful work of William Heath Robinson, the prolific artist and humorist.
‘I have been ill and frightfully bored and the one thing I have wanted is a big album of your absurd beautiful drawings to turn over. You give me a peculiar pleasure of the mind like nothing else in the world.’ – H. G. Wells to W. Heath Robinson (1914)
This book takes a nostalgic look back to the imaginative and often frivolous world of William Heath Robinson, one of the few artists to have given his name to the English language. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression Heath Robinson is used to describe ‘any absurdly ingenious and impracticable device of the kind illustrated by this artist‘.
Yet his elaborate drawings of contraptions are not the only thing to make this book very Heath Robinson. Full of quirky images from Romans wearing polka dots to balding men seducing mermaids, Very Heath Robinson presents an unconventional history of the world in which technology and its social setting get equal billing.
Illustration Magazine, Summer 2017: A curious mix of reality and imagination, mundane daily tasks and ludicrously improbable situations make William-Heath Robinson’s machines fascinating, hilarious and, occasionally, only just across the line of feasibility, says Adam Hart-Davis.
New Design Magazine, July 2017: Adam Hart-Davies delves into the wonderfully eccentric world of William Heath Robinson and his extraordinary mechanical contraptions
Country Life Magazine, May 2017: HEATH ROBINSON is in the air. A new museum devoted to the life and work of the celebrated ‘contraption cartoonist’ opened in Pinner this year and now we have this handsome celebratory book, with a foreword by Philip Pullman, who notes that, ‘the quality most lasting of all in Heath Robinson’s work is the charm’.
i-Magazine Coffee Table Choice, May 2017: A baby-naming machine, a robot to take the awkwardness out of meeting new people, a bath for three and an extending bungalow: all
inventions from the marvellous mind of William Heath Robinson,
The Spectator, May 2017: The expression “Heath Robinson” has entered the dictionary to mean an over-ingenious, ridiculously complicated or elaborate mechanical contrivance”.
Surrey Life, June 2017: ‘His gravity defying contraptions operated by strings, pulleys and anything else that came to hand, have entertained the public while inspiring artists and film makers…’
The Lady, May 2017
West Country Life, June 2017. Simon Parker chats to Adam Hart-Davis about the book he has written to celebrate ingenious creator of home spun mechanisms, W Heath Robinson.
Here is a review of the book on the Female First web site, May 2017.