The British 1945 to 1995, according to Giles

The British according to Giles – 1945 to 1995

Carl Giles, cartoonist

The British cartoonist Giles (1916-1995) was once described as “a present day Hogarth”. In many ways he was. His view of British life, the pubs, the village shops, rain-soaked summer fetes, snow-bound traffic, hospitals, factories and farms, the upper-classes – and the home life of the famous ‘ordinary’ family he created, all illustrate a unique picture of British life during the second half of the 20th century.

His cartoons start during the second world war and go on to show how the British dealt with post-war rationing, the recovery as Britain returned to normal life, the 1950s and 60s, the Beatles, ‘Swinging’ London – and on into the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

He was a great illustrator. Some of his perspective views from high on a factory roof or looking down through a Cornish village are beautifully sketched. His stormy seas, his damp village fetes, his snow scenes are superb drawings in themselves.

The Giles annuals are a great way to delve into Giles’ wonderful view of British life. Not only do the cartoons remain funny even now, but when you study them closely you will gain insight and detail of British life in a way found nowhere else.

Carl Ronald Giles was born in London in September 1916. He died in 1995. Read more on Wikipedia.

The first Giles Annual, 1945-46. The cover shows the German High Command surrendering to a British ‘Tommy’ whilst he is enjoying a cup of tea.

A Giles sketch of Hitler. Annual number 1. 1945.

Giles pokes fun at Hitler with his stylish dressing gown. Giles had great fun with the Nazis as the war in Europe ended. Annual number 1. 1945.

Click on the current Giles annuals that we have in stock.

Giles annual twenty six, cover
Giles Annual 26, 1971-72

Giles annual twenty seven, cover
Giles Annual 27, 1972-73

Giles, Album 36, 1981-82
Giles, Album 36. This annual covers the period July 1981 to July 1982.

Giles ability to incorporate a whole story in one illustration is shown here in these two clever perspective drawings. Shown in the upstairs window are the couple being disturbed by the small boy in the street.

The cartoonist Giles

This illustration shows Giles’ skill at its best. The feeling of vertigo is wonderful.

Giles, cartoonist

See more of our books on cartoonists.

Read our article on social history as seen through children’s picture books.