Monday, 30 August 2010

Yaffle and Flambo

Who were Yaffle and Flambo ? That`s the question we ask ourselves.

At present, all we can tell you is that the pseudonymous `Yaffle` was the author of Foiling the Reds, a satirical play of the `20s published by the now defunct Labour Publishing Company, and that `Flambo` was his equally pseudonymous illustrator.

The Labour Publishing Company was the brainchild of G D H Cole. You may know Cole as a Guild Socialist and associate of George Bernard Shaw and the Webbs. You may know him, as I do, as  the author of a number of detective stories, often written jointly with his wife. Lastly, and I`ve saved the best for last, you may know him as having been immortalised by Oliver Postgate in the form of  the cantankerous woodpecker  Professor Yaffle in the children`s TV series Bagpuss ! 

Sadly, there seems to be no evidence that G D H `Professor Yaffle` Cole was the same person as Yaffle the playwright, and I would think it`s unlikely the notoriously humourless Cole would have been the creator of such characters as Sir Ezekiel McQuinkerdook or the vampish Lola.

In truth, if this book was not fairly collectable now, we would never have considered stocking this particular  copy. As you`ll see from the pictures below, the cover, and particularly the spine, have seen better days. However, it is rare and still sought after by collectors, who may well jump at the chance to acquire a reasonably priced copy even if it is not perfect. I must admit, though, that  our decision to stock the copy offered to us was heavily influenced by the volume`s excellent illustrations, all by the mysterious `Flambo`, and all very much in the `20s style.

Anyway, that`s enough talk from me, here are some images for your delight and delectation !