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Jan and Cora Gordon Books

In 1917 Ashley Smith wrote, "The Gordons (Mr. Jan and Mrs. Jo Gordon) are very great and valued friends of ours. They are both artists and he has also written two books; one “The Balkan Freebooter” (an absolutely true yarn) all by himself and another called “The Luck of Thirteen” in conjunction with his wife. He also writes Art criticism in “The New Witness” under the name of “John Salis”." (The New Witness column was taken over by Paul Nash in 1919.)

Their next book, "Poor Folk in Spain", published in 1922, launched a series of "Two vagabonds in ..." illustrated accounts of travel in Spain, the Balkans, Lapland and Sweden, France, Albania, Portugal and the USA. The name "Two Vagabonds" was not always used in the title, though even "The Luck of Thirteen" was renamed "Two Vagabonds in Serbia and Montenegro" in its 1939 re-issue to "bring it into line" with the later books ( http://janandcoragordonart.blogspot.com/2014/06/jan-and-cora-gordon-wanderings-and.html ).

In addition to numerous magazine articles (including several for the New York Times), Jan also wrote a number of books on art, with "Modern French Painters" first published in 1923 (containing a dedication to Doris and Ashley Smith), the Preston Harrison (Los Angeles) collection of modern French art catalogue in 1929 and "A Stepladder to Painting" in 1934. "Art aint all Paint", published in 1944, is a very light set of verses written by Jan about artists, from Cimabue (1240-1320) to Graham Sutherland (who, like Jan, had exhibited in the London XXI Gallery in 1925), with H.M. Bateman providing the illustrations.

Jan's novels included "Buddock Against London" (1925), "A Girl in the Art Class" (1927) - though this one is more biography/autobiography (my sister, an artist herself, now has the family copy of this book), "Piping George" (1930), "Beans Spilt in Spain" (1931), "There's Death in the Churchyard" (1934), "Death in the Wheelbarrow" (1935) and "Murder Most Artistic" (1937) - released as "The Mystery of the Painted Nude" (1938) in the USA.
He also wrote short stories such as "The Devil's Elixir"(1924) in Blackwood's Magazine.

There is a very nice (though incomplete) article on the books of Jan and Cora Gordon in "Book and Magazine Collector", March 1990, by K.J. Bryant. He emphasises the rarity of the "Mother and Child" book illustrated below, writing "The only copies I have seen are in the V&A and the British Museum." (See http://lifeartearth.blogspot.com/2013/11/jan-gordon-and-bernard-meninsky-mother.html ).

My father had all of the Jan and Cora Gordon books with the exception of the Meninsky, Preston Harrison, Craftie Arts and Art ain't all Paint volumes. I subsequently purchased these missing titles and examples with dedications connected to celebrated personalities of their times.
Jan and Cora Gordon in WW1
Jan and Cora Gordon in WW1
Jan Gordon Novels
Jan Gordon Novels
Jan Gordon On Art
Jan Gordon On Art
Jan and Cora Gordon Two Vagabond Adventures
Jan and Cora Gordon Two Vagabond Adventures
Jan and Cora Gordon in the United States
Jan and Cora Gordon in the United States
Jan and Cora Gordon in Paris and London
Jan and Cora Gordon in Paris and London