Leslie George Bullock: cartoon maps for children
Leslie George Bullock (1904-1971) first cropped up on these pages a couple of years ago, in a post about pictorial maps of London. He created whimsical but informative cartoon maps for children, most notably perhaps his Children’s Map of London, originally sold in aid of Great Ormond Street: He had a close association with Edinburgh publisher John Bartholomew & Son and his maps were mostly published between the late 1930s and the 1960s, often reprinted and sold over a fairly substantial period of time. Beyond that, I wasn’t able to establish much about Bullock’s life or background. Trawling the net got me nowhere. Now and again I should remind myself that I am a bookseller, and there are plenty of things in (or in this case on) books, which are not to be found anywhere online. The answers are on the back cover of Bullock’sChildren’s Book of London (1948, rev 1960): L.G. Bullock was born within sound of Bow Bells - “if the wind was right”. He was educated at Alleyn’s School, Dulwich, and afterwards joined the Territorial Army and saw service in the first World War. He entered the Civil Service in 1920, and worked in London, particularly with the Port of London, until 1932 when he was transferred to Scotland. In the last war he was attached to the Home Office on A.R.P. and Civil Defence duties, and was awarded the O.B.E. in 1948. Now retired he lives in Kent - as he says, not too far from London. As well as a version of the children’s map, folding onto the lower pastedown, The Children’s Book of London also contains a number of double-page maps such as this one of the City: Here are a couple of Bullock’s other works: His Pictorial Plan of Glasgow, prepared for the 1938 Empire Exhibition, is roughly contemporary with his Children’s Map of London, and it seems to be among his first published works. I have not yet located anything earlier. It is very much in the same style, though without the whimsical quotes and cartoonish figures. It would certainly serve as a practical plan, as well as a souvenir, for any one of the exhibition’s 12 million visitors. Bullock’s United Nations Map of the World was published in 1948, a wonderful example of postwar optimism. As well as carrying the coats of arms of member states, the map is liberally adorned with improving classical, biblical and literary quotations, and substantial extracts from the Atlantic Charter and the United Nations Declaration. Many cartoon and satirical maps were created by successful commercial artists, MacDonald Gill being an obvious example. I looked in vain for other example’s of L.G. Bullock’s published work, but now I know why. He was a civil servant - his maps for children were a private passion.