A great annual book for boys, full of adventure stories ! Only texts, with a few illustrations. Each text has at least one black and white illustration.
It is extremely difficult to date this book with precision, as Dean and Sons Ltd published undated "Champion Book for Boys" from the 1930s to 1950s and the books were not dated. This is why everytime you see one of these books online, the date given is only approximative. The only way to determine the date is to look closely at the illustrations, research the authors, and try to find a few clues in the text itself.
The clues I have found are :
- The illustration of the submarine on the first page of the book (the only illustration in colour) reminds greatly of the British submarine Seahorse, built between the two world wars, and that you can see here and here.
Submarines in the 1940s and 1950s had a different look.
- Wallace Arter, one of the authors in this book -see last photo, used to write in the 1930s. I didn't find any mention that he was still writing later on.
- The first story, "The Ghost Submarine" by Edmund Burton, mentions in its very first page, a "battlecruiser". If you read the history of battlecruisers, you will learn that there were already very few of them left in the 30s, and that only three remained at the beginning of the second world war. From these three remaining battlecruisers, two were destroyed during the war, and the last one was sold for scrap in 1948. Thus, although Edmund Burton was still writing in the 50s, it seems extremely unlikely that this story has been written in the 1950s, as you can sometimes find for this specific annual.
- One of the illustrations, the illustration on page 131 (see fourth photo here), shows men in bathing suits. This style of bathing suits is typical of the 1930s.
- On the front cover (first photo) the way the man is dressed in the background reminds a lot of the fashion of the 1930s.
There are some other clues in the book.
So, for all these reasons, and without too much fear of making a mistake, I will date this book 1930s.
The condition of this book is acceptable as the back cover shows some signs of age and a few damages.
Both corners -top and bottom- on the back cover are damaged (you can see only the top one on the scan) The pages themselves (made of thick paper) are in good vintage condition.
Dimensions : 24.3 cm x 18 cm = 9.56" x 7.08" / Thickness : 3 cm = 1.18"
Weight (without protection and packaging): 530 g