Edmund Dulac's contribution to ''King Albert's Book''
Illustration by Edmund Dulac
King Albert's Book was publishing project
involving The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Sketch, The Glasgow
Hodder and Stoughton in 1914. Proceeds from the sale of
the book contributed to the "Daily Telegraph Belgian Fund"
for those affected by the emerging conflict of World
War I and its effects on the tiny European nation.
The Introduction to King Albert's Book provides
a description of Belgium - the martyr nation of the war - as follows:
With nothing to gain by taking up arms, with no territory to annex, no commerce
to capture, no injury to revenge, having neither part nor lot in any European
quarrel, desiring only to be left alone that she might pursue the arts of peace,
Belgium found herself suddenly confronted by the choice of allowing her soil
to be invaded by a powerful neighbour on his way to destroy his enemy, or of
protecting her independence as a separate nation by the whole strength of her
Although one of the smallest and least aggressive of the countries of Europe, the
daughter among the nations, Belgium, true to her lofty political idealism, chose the
latter part, not counting the cost, only realising that a ruthless crime was about to
be committed, and drawing the sword, after the sword had been drawn against her,
in defence of her honour, her national integrity, her right to be mistress in her
own house, her historic heritage of freedom and all the spiritual traditions of
In doing this during the past fateful months, Belgium has fought not only her
own battle but also the battle of France, the battle of Great Britain and the
battle of Freedom. By her brave stand against incalculable odds she has added
a new and inspiring chapter to the heroic annals of humanity and perhaps lifted
to a higher level the future destinies of man.
But she has paid a terrible penalty. Her beautiful country has been laid waste.
Her harvests, which were ripe for the gathering, have been trodden into the earth.
Her villages have been given up to the flames. Her cities have been made to
resound with the screams of shell and the cries of slaughter. Her historic monuments,
venerable with the associations of learning and piety, have been razed to
the ground. And, above all, Death has taken an awful toll of her manhood on
the field of battle, while multitudes of her surviving people, the very young, the
very old, the very weak, the very poor, all innocent and all helpless, have been
driven forth on the verge of winter from their smoking, blackened and outraged
homes into an exile in foreign lands from which there can hardly be any hope
that many of them will return.
No more woeful and terrible spectacle of a country in utter desolation ever came
from earthquake, eruption or other convulsion of Nature in her wrath than has
been produced in Belgium by the hand of man. A complete nation is in ruin.
A whole country is in ashes. An entire people are destitute, homeless and on
the roads. A little Kingdom, dedicated to liberty, has "kept the pledge and
died for it".
In keeping with that description, Dulac appears to have
sought to personify the nation of Belgium within the flames
of war - it is a quite stunning illustration.
Single Greeting Card (with matching Envelope)
KAB1 SGC Price: US$5.00
Reproduction on 12x18" sheet
KAB1 12x18 Price: US$60.00
Our Greeting Cards
When presented on Greeting Cards, this
image is prepared as a tipped-on
plate - in hommage to the hand-crafted
of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades
of the 20th Century. Each card is
hand-finished, with the image presented
on Ivory card stock with an accompanying envelope. On the rear of
card we also present some information about Edmund
and this wonderful illustration. We have left the interior
of the cards blank so that you may write your own personal message.
Our large format reproductions
Each of our large format reproductions are prepared
with archival quality materials and processes to ensure many years
of enjoyment. In addition, our reproductions are
accompanied by explanatory material relating to Edmund Dulac
and this wonderful illustration.
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