The 1930’s had given birth in Germany
to a Fascism more terrible than Italy was experiencing under Mussolini.
Hitler’s Brown Shirts were on the March, trampling down the laws,
the League of Nations and anything that stood in their militaristic path.
‘What will people think of such fuss in these anxious times?”
the King said to Queen Mary when he surveyed the plans for national celebrations
in 1935 for his 25 years on the throne.
The people thought that it was well worthwhile and London exploded on
a gloriously sunny May 6th, the day of the Royal Silver Jubilee, when
the King and Queen drove to give thanks in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Towns and villages spent the day in jollification and a chain of bonfires
criss-crossed the whole country. The King’s moving words in his
diary, “I‘d no idea they felt like that about me”, reflected
the fact that he had become a focus of stability and reliability in a
The ILN produced four special numbers to celebrate the event, the first
one being the sixth in its series of Record Numbers, the
‘Silver Jubilee Record Number’
(Appendix List No. 102) published in late
April. There was no intention to study with any semblance of thoroughness
the whole history of King George’s reign (even the Great War is
only perfunctorily reviewed) but to illustrate what was representative
in the events and personalities of the time.
Eleven fully illustrated sections deal with Their Majesties themselves;
25 years of Home and Imperial politics; 25 years of science; the Royal
Navy 1910-1935; the British Army 1910-1935;
25 years of archaeology; writers of the present reign; British feats of
exploration 1910-1935; British aviation since 1910; art and artists of
25 years, and music, the stage and the films. This issue has 26 large
coloured plates and 2 in photogravure amongst its 84 pages. It cost five
shillings. The design of the red outer cover is based on a book binding
made for King Charles I and carries a reproduction of the obverse of King
George V’s silver Jubilee Medal, with its design by Sir Goscombe
John. The whole issue is protected by a tissue guard.
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