Sunday 29 August 2010

Coming Down the Seine by Robert Gibbings

My copy is second hand, published in 1953, and very battered, so I decided against a scan of the cover and settled for the title page with the image by Robert Gibbings himself.  The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with his own wood engravings.

I wasn't at all sure what to expect of this book, I'll freely admit that I was completely swayed by the title.

The title is of course misleading to a large extent.  Never judge judge a book by its cover - or its title.  But it does have some bearing on the subject matter and besides, the book is a total delight once you stop expecting a travelogue.  It is almost like a stream of consciousness, the thoughts meandering through the author's mind as he follows the Seine from its source to the sea (with occasional massive detours).  Added to the captivating narrative, you can enjoy the illustrations created by the author himself.  A book that can be read over and over again.

Coming Down the Seine is still available at and at