A Eulogy for the Cigarette Packet in Anecdote and Literature

112pp 180 COLOUR PHOTOS & ILLUS 2012 OUT OF PRINT (P) E309



A seagull swoops across a packet of Senior Service, a seaman from HMS Hero poses in a lifebelt cameo on twenty Player’s, a laughing cavalier puffs away at a Passing Cloud, and a Jeeves-style butler offers us a Kensitas on a silver tray. Ashley delves into the vanished world of cigarette pack art, showing us what an incredible gallery of design they once offered, and how much a part of daily life they were – Gold Flakes on a picnic, Park Drive on a workbench. His engrossing collection of old friends is accompanied by stories and anecdotes: the influence of Du Mauriers on a crooked tycoon, Battle of Britain pilots throwing Weights after free-falling Messerschmitts and, of course, the packets dropped into the work of writers such as John Betjeman, Ian Fleming, Len Deighton and Will Self without disapproving shakes of the head.