Monday 29 July 2013

Arthur Rackham – part 7

Arthur Rackham self-portrait

Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the 'Golden Age' of British book illustration which encompassed the years from 1900 until the start of the First World War.

Arthur Rackham's works have become very popular since his death, both in North America and Britain. His images have been widely used by the greeting card industry and many of his books are still in print or have been recently available in both paperback and hardback editions. His original drawings and paintings are keenly sought at the major international art auction houses.

This is part 7 of an 8-part post on the works of Arthur Rackham. For full biographical notes see part 1.

Some British Ballads was an illustrated collection of traditional tales including Clerk Colvil, The Lass of Lochroyan, Young Bekie, Chevy Chase, The Gardener, The Gay Goshawk, Lord Thomas and Fair Annet, The Twa Corbies, Young Akin, Binnorie, Get Up and Bar the Door, The Riddling Knight, Lady Elspat, Johnnie of Cockerslee, The Old Cloak, Proud Lady Margaret, Young Andrew, Sir Patrick Spens, Lord Randal, The Twa Brothers, The Duke of Gordon's Daughter, The Barron of Braikly, The Lackmaben Harper, The False Lover Won Back, Lamkin, Bonnie George Campbell, Prince Robert, Earl Mar's Daughter, The Death of Parcy Reed, Hynd Horn, Helen of Kirconnell, The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington, Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow, The Gypsy Laddie, Clyde Water, The Lady Turned Serving-Man, Earl Brand, Earl Richard, The Fair Flower of Northumberland, and The Wife of Usher's Well.

This version originally published in 1919:

Cover of Some British Ballads

Title page

Chapter heading "Clerk Colvill"

Clerk Colvill

O Waken, Waken, Burd Isbel

The Twa Corbies


May Colven

Get Up and Bar the Door

Johnnie de Cockerslee

Young Andrew

Lord Randal

The False Lover Won Back

Earl Mar's Daughter

Hind Horn

The Gypsy Laddie

Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens. Stephens (1882 – 1950) was an Irish novelist and poet. He produced many re-tellings of Irish myths and fairy tales. His stories are marked by a combination of humour and lyricism.

This version originally published in 1920:

1920 Cover of Irish Fairy Tales

Title page

"My life became a ceaseless scurry and wound and escape, a burden and anguish of watchfulness"

"Wild and shy and monstrous creatures ranged in her plains and forests"

"A man who did not like dogs. In fact, he hated them. When he saw one he used to go black in the face, and he threw rocks at it until it got out of sight"

"How he strained and panted to catch on that pursuing person and pursue her and get his own switch into action"

"In forked glen into which he slipped at night fall he was surrounded by giant toads"

"She looked with angry woe at the straining and snarling horde below"

"The banqueting hall was in tumult"

"The door of Fionn's chamber opened gently and a young woman came into the room"

"The Hag of the Mill was a bony, thin pole of a hag with odd feet"

"They stood outside, filled with savagery and terror"

"The thumping of his big boots grew as continuous as the pattering of hail-stones on a roof, and the wind of his passage blew trees down"

"The waves of all the worlds seemed to whirl past them in one huge green cataract"

"They offered a cow for each leg of her cow, but she would not accept that offer unless Fiachna went bail for the payment"

The Sleeping Beauty told by Charles Seddon Evans. The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairy-tale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment of sleep, and a handsome prince. Written as an original literary tale, it was first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697.

This version originally published in 1920:

Cover of The Sleeping Beauty 1920

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for showing us so much of this man's amazing work. There is so much to admire and wonder at in each picture. What an artist!

    Thank you!


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