Sir Brian Caldwell Cook Batsford (18 December 1910 – 5 March 1991) was a British painter, designer, publisher and Conservative Party politician. Born in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire as Brian Caldwell Cook, he adopted his mother's maiden name in 1946.
He was educated at Repton School, 1924- 1928 where he started to paint. In 1928 he began working for the production department of the publishing firm of B.T. Batsford, of which his uncle, Harry Batsford, was chairman. His first dust jacket was for The Villages of England (1932) when he was 21 years of age. Following his uncle's death, he became chairman of Batsford, from 1952 until 1974.
He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ealing South at a by-election on 12 June 1958. He held the seat until it was abolished for the February 1974 general election, and did not stand for Parliament again. As Flight Lieutenant Brian Cook he had failed to defend the Conservative seat of Chelmsford at a by-election in April 1945 which was won by Ernest Millington for the short-lived Common Wealth Party. He was knighted in 1974. He was tenant of Lamb House, the National Trust property in Rye, East Sussex, 1980 – 1987.
He is perhaps better known as Brian Cook, the illustrator/designer of the dust jackets of the highly-collectable Batsford books from the 1930s to the 1950s. The distinctive vibrant colours of the jackets were achieved by the Jean Berté process, which used rubber plates and water-based inks.
- The Britain of Brian Cook. London: Batsford, 1987. ISBN 978-0-7134-5700-1
Notes and references
-  London Gazette 2 April 1974, issue no. 46254
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