|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 6 of an 8-part post on the works of Arthur Rackham. For full biographical notes see part 1.
The Romance of King Arthur
is Alfred W. Pollard's version of Malory's Morte d'Arthur and includes tales of King Arthur, Sir Launcelot,
Sir Gareth, Sir Tristram, Sir Launcelot and Dame Elaine, Sir Galahad and the
Quest of the Holy Grail, and Launcelot, Guenever, and King Arthur.
Malory's own Morte d'Arthur
was compiled from folk tales, with the addition of some original material
related to Sir Gareth. The original version of the tales was first published by
William Caxton in 1485 and the Malory's compilation is regarded as the
best-known work of English-language Arthurian literature.
In preparing for the commission, Rackham turned to his own copy of
Beardsley's "Morte D'Arthur" and, following the pattern of the
Beardsley version, drew square and rectangular chapter headings to be set at
irregular intervals up and down the page. As in Beardsley, these have a stark
black and white appearance, though Rackham cannot resist the occasional wryly
humorous touch such as a barking dog or a jester's head.
closest Rackham comes to Beardsley, however, is in his illustration of
'Sangreal', a flaming lidded chalice carried by an attenuated golden-haired
white-robed maiden. This homage to Aubrey is based closely on Beardsley's own
angel in 'The Achieving of the Sangreal', the frontispiece to Volume Two of
|"Sangreal" by Arthur Rackham|
|Aubrey Beardsley "The Achieving of the Sangreal" 1893-94|
|1917 Cover of The Romance of King Arthur|
English Fairy Tales edited by Flora Annie Steel (1847 –1929). In 1867 Flora Annie
Webster married Henry William Steel, a member of the Indian civil service, and
for the next twenty-two years lived in India, chiefly in the Punjab, with which
most of her books are connected. She acted as school inspector and mediator in
She encouraged the production of
local handicrafts and collected folk-tales, a collection of which she published
in 1884. Her interest in schools and the education of women gave her a special
insight into native life and character. A year before leaving India, she
co-authored and published The
Complete Indian Housekeeper, giving detailed directions to European women
on all aspects of household management in India. In 1889 the family moved back
to Scotland, and she continued her writing there.
This version originally published in 1918.
|1918 Cover of English Fairy Tales|
|"Tree of mine! O tree of mine! Have you seen my naughty little maid?"|
|"Well!" she chuckled, "I am in luck!"|
|The Three Bears |
|"Ah! Somebody has been at my porridge, and eaten it all up!"|
|"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman"|
|Many's the beating he had from the broomstick or the ladle|
|Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar at home|
| She went along, and went along, and went along|
Cinderella retold by Charles Seddon Evans
(1883 – 1944). C. S. Evans joined
William Heinemann publishers in 1914, and became a director of the
company in 1922.
The title character of Cinderella is a young woman living in unfortunate
circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. The story was
first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires
ou contes du temps passé in
1697, and later by the
Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms'
Although both the story's title and the character's name change in different
languages, in English-language folklore "Cinderella" is the
archetypal name. The word "Cinderella” has come to mean one whose
attributes were unrecognised, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or
success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of
"Cinderella" continues to influence popular culture internationally,
lending plot elements to a wide variety of media.
This version originally published in 1919.
|1919 Cover of Cinderella|