Selected Poems on West Penwith and Reflections, by Arthur Westlake Andrews. Foreword by Geoffrey Winthrop Young. Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 in preparation). Tregerthen, St. Ives, Cornwall: published by the author, 1957. (Obtainable from John W. Saundry, Chapel Street, Penzance; J. A. D. Bridger; and other booksellers.) Price 5 sh.
A.W.A., scholar of Charterhouse and Senior Exhibitioner of Magdalen College, Oxford; and member of both the Alpine Club and the Climbers’ Club for nearly sixty years, is the founder of Cornish cliff-climbing as well as a collaborator on two guide-books: Lliwedd and Cornwall. A geographer by profession, he modestly claims to have "managed in a limited way to carry out his own 'exploration’ of some of the mountain districts of Europe and North and South Africa.”
To know a man one needs must acquire an intimate knowledge of his character, his thoughts, his way of life and his convictions. In this regrettably small volume one finds not only the "poems” and "reflections” of its author but some of the essence and substance of his being. His sensitivity to the wonders of nature, which he views with ever keenly observant mind and eyes, makes of him their kindred spirit, and in his happily inspired and offtimes quietly whimsical lyrics one senses a sincerity and depth of feeling which has found solution for expression in such sympathetic verses as: "The Blow Hole,” "Wicca,” "West Penwith,” "A Tit.”
In World War I he saw overseas service in France; in World War II, as "Minister of Camouflage,” he became likewise the author of that delightful masterpiece of British understatement: "Camouflage.” Yet through his skillfully laid smoke-screen of wit and irony one may catch now and then a rare glimpse of that unconscious innate gallantry which made victory possible in the long black night of the Battle of Britain.
Christine L. Reid