The fourth in my mini-series on illustrators of the past features Harry Rountree. Rountree came to London from New Zealand in 1901. He was 23 years old and determined to make his mark on the then-flourishing magazine and book market. He didn't. For two years he struggled, studied and sold the occasional spot drawing. It wasn't until the editor of Little Folks magazine gave him a commission to illustrate a story with an animal that he found his calling. Suddenly he could do no wrong. By 1903 he was illustrating books for the editor of Little Folks, writing and illustrating his own books, and in demand by nearly every publisher in London.
From 1903 to 1942, Rountree's pens and brushes gave life to every species from dormice to dinosaurs. His 1908 Alice in Wonderland, with 90+ color plates, is considered to be both his masterpiece and one of the definitive versions of the Carroll classic.
Active through most of his career in magazines, especially those for children, Rountree created thousands of illustrations of an uncompromising quality. Even his little marginal vignettes were often priceless. Some titles that featured his work: Punch, The Strand, Cassell's, Pearson's, The Sketch, The Illustrated London News, Playtime, Little Folks, and many others. Rountree died in 1950.