A Young Artist in the Great War
by Rex Passion
with drawings by Edward Shenton





In early 1917 a young artist, Edward Shenton, enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard. He went on to train with the 103rd engineers, later attached to the 28th Division and sailed for France in May of 1918. He saw action as a combat engineer at the battles of the Marne, Fismes, and Meuse Argonne, all the time carrying with him his canvas-bound sketchbook and drawing everything he saw. When he returned to the states in 1919, he put away his drawings and resumed his art career, attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and eventually becoming one of the foremost book and magazine illustrators of his day. The sketchbooks remained among Ed’s papers for over 90 years when they were discovered by his son many years after his death. The Lost Sketchbooks, A Young Artist in the Great War is a book of his drawings in the context of the places he saw and the battles he fought.
Ned Shenton, Ed's son and a friend of mine, brought over a box of his father's images for a website and among them were twenty sketchbooks. Almost immediately I decided that I needed to do a book to bring these treasures to light. The Lost Sketchbooks is six inches by nine inches (the same size as Ed's originals) and includes 150 of Ed Shenton's wartime sketches. It is available for $21.95 by clicking on the Order button. Pay Pal or credit card will be accepted.