John Lennon, along with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr achieved superstardom as the rock and roll band, The Beatles. But before Lennon travelled the globe playing music with The Beatles, this boy from Liverpool, England saw the world in a whole different way – through stamps.
Lennon's older cousin, Stanley Parkes, inspired the future Beatle's interest in stamp collecting and gave him this album. Lennon replaced Parkes' name and address on the album's flyleaf with his own. He added his address at Mendips, the home he shared with his aunt Mary (“Mimi”) and her husband George Smith. Already a budding artist, Lennon sketched beards and mustaches of the likenesses of Queen Victoria and King George VI on the album's title page. Lennon continued to collect and trade stamps for several years after receiving this album.
Stanley Parkes (Lennon's older cousin), age 15 and John, age 8 posing in front of Lennon's childhood home. Photo courtesy of Time/LIFE.
Title page showing Lennon's “embellished” images of British monarchs.
Title page detail
A view of Lennon's “embellished” images of British monarchs from the album's title page.