Mary Ellen Blanche Crookes (1870-1935) aka, Miss C. Helard, was the wife of Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, a noted Edwardian lawyer, author, and expert on heraldry. When the library of his estate came onto the market in the late 1970s, the author was able to acquire a substantial archive of material that, combined with other research into the history of this family, culminated in this impressive work.
As the author explains, C. Helard was 'born' in 1895 as the pseudonym that Crookes used for her heraldic drawings and bookplate designs. Why exactly she chose this name remains something of a mystery, but her portfolio of work as C. Helard was impressive. The author has meticulously catalogued all known examples of her work, and has reproduced in superb quality many illustrations of her ex libris in this book.
The book itself is softcover, approx. 8 1/2 x 11; 135pgs; illus; biblio; index; and limited to an edition of 450 copies. Well-researched, very readable, and beautifully illustrated throughout, this book will make yet another great addition to the private libraries of bookplate collectors and historians. I highly recommend that you visit The Bookplate Society's website and get a copy, or better still, consider joining the society and receive both the journal as well as access to many other books like this. Until next time...