Biographies

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Henry Holiday

Henry Holiday was born on 17th June 1839 in London. In 1855, aged 16, he made his first journey to the Lake District. Throughout the rest of his life he was to make many more trips, often holidaying for long periods of time. In 1908 he designed his own home, Betty Fold, near Hawkshead. He often stayed at Brantwood, home of John Ruskin, who introduced him to Edward Burne-Jones. From 1872 onwards, he was a regular visitor at Muncaster Castle. He spent much of his time sketching the views from the hills and mountains. He wrote that 'for concentrated loveliness I know nothing that can quite compare with the lakes and mountains of Westmorland, Cumberland and Lancashire'. Most of his sketch books are now in private hands, though one is in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Henry Holiday was a frequent visitor to the studios of Sir Edward Burne-Jones at his home in London, and Burne-Jones' influence on him can be felt in his work. At Burne-Jones' home aesthetic problems were discussed and exchanged by a group of artists, who pooled their ideas, and whose work had much in common. He took over as stained glass window designer at Powell's Glass Works, after Burne-Jones left in 1861 to work for Morris & Co. He fulfilled more than 300 commissions, mainly for American clients. As a painter he excelled in drapery, producing figure subjects close in spirit to the work of Rossetti. He illustrated Lewis Carroll's 'The Hunting of the Snark'. He left Powell's and set up his own stained glass works in 1891. He died on April 15th, 1927, two years after his wife Kate. Taken from; http://www.visitcumbria.com/henry-holiday.htm

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Peter Newell

I don't really know much about Peter Newell except he was famous as an illustrator of children's books at the turn of the century and did appreciated illustrations of Lewis Carroll's Nonsense books (Alice and Snark). His own books tend to be based on a single idea, the holes of the Hole Book and Rocket Book, pictures which can be looked at upside down in the two Topsys and Turvys. What probably makes him unattractive today are the frequent racial jokes in his works, and though they were probably standard at the time he really insisted quite a lot.

What I find interesting is the fact that he seems to have made the typically Victorian children's book more popular and introduced techniques that would be used by newspaper comic artists in their daily or weekly production; in particular the recurring device (hole, turning the picture) recalls the repetitiveness of the early comic strips (Nemo's waking up, Ignatz's brick).

He was clearly imitated (and improved upon) by Gustave Verbeek — with whom he collaborated on a Nursery Rhymes for Grown-Ups — who produced a series of Upside-Downs in which you read half the story 'upside', then turn the page 'down' and read the second part — a real tour de force. Newell himself produced a comic series, The Naps of Polly Sleepyhead, published in various newspapers between Feb. 25, 1906 and Sep. 22, 1907. Taken from; http://www.nonsenselit.org/newell/ 
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Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake's masterpiece, the Gormenghast trilogy, is a gothic fantasy whose strange characters' lives are dominated by the labyrinthine castle of Gormenghast and its ancient rituals. Peake was also a brilliant artist which perhaps accounts for the unique visual intensity of his creation. Mervyn Peake was born in China in 1911 of medical missionary parents. He began to draw, paint and write stories at an early age. His first book of poems, Shapes and Sounds, was published in 1941. He is probably best known for his Titus novels - Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone - but other well-known poetry collections include: The Glassblowers and The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb. He married Maeve Gilmore in 1937. He was awarded the W.H. Heinemann Foundation Prize by the Royal Society of Literature in 1950. Mervyn Peake died after a long illness in 1968. From; http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/p/mervyn-peake/ 
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Helen Oxenbury

After illustrating 'THe Hunting of the Snark' she didn't return to the works of Lewis Carroll untill 1999 when she took on the challenge of illustrating a new edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Her vision of Carroll's classic's up-side-down land, described by Booklist contributor Michael Cart as "a soft, beautiful, springtime world," garnered her the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for illustration. Oxenbury updates the setting, which "makes it even more appealing and accessible to modern readers," thought Christian Science Monitor's Karen Carden. Instead of the traditional Alice, with her fancy Victorian dress and well-arranged ring-curls, Oxenbury's heroine wears a denim jumper and sneakers. Oxenbury also softened some of the scarier aspects of Carroll's tale; "the villains here are more stoogelike than menacing," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. As a Horn Book contributor explained it, "Oxenbury delineates the story's humor with a gentle hand"; her "illustrations have a sweetness of tone and an amiable spirit."

Oxenbury turned in another award-winning performance with her illustrations for Big Momma Makes the World, written by Phyllis Root. Root retells the traditional Creation story from Genesis, but with the twist that the male God is replaced by Big Momma, who does things a bit differently. "Oxenbury's luminous, oversized acrylics perfectly capture the strong, no-nonsense personality of this barefoot creator," thought School Library Journal reviewer Laurie von Mehren. Oxenbury's paintings also "aptly convey the tone of each day's production," a reviewer noted in Kirkus Reviews. Her palette changes as the creation progresses, from shades of black before the sun is made to an ever-increasing display of color as golden light and multi-colored birds, fish, flowers, and animals appear. Writing in Horn Book, Johanna Rudge Long found "the illustrations . . . superb, surprising the eye with their joyous variety," while Booklist's Ilene Cooper called Big Momma "an exciting, new version of one of the world's oldest stories." Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/helen-oxenbury#ixzz1AHHjqvoc

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Harold Jones 
Harold Jones was a painter, wood engraver and printmaker. He started book illustration in the 1930s, using pen and ink, often with colour washes delicately applied. His lithographs for Walter de la Mare’s THIS YEAR NEXT YEAR (1937) marked the emergence of a fresh talent in book illustration; and the flat colours strike the eye as something quite new.
LAVENDER'S BLUE (1954), illustrated by Jones with muted colours and shadows and texture created with cross-hatching, was included in the Hans Christian Andersen Award Honours list and received the American Library Association Award in the USA. It has remained in print for over 50 years, and Oxford University Press recently celebrated this anniversary. As well as producing picture books, Jones was prolific in black and white line, illustrating classic authors such as Oscar Wilde, Charles Kingsley and Lewis Carroll. He died in 1992.
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Ralph Steadman 
Ralph Steadman was born in 1936. He started as a cartoonist and through the years diversified into many fields of creativity. He has illustrated such classics as "Alice in Wonderland", "Treasure Island" and "Animal Farm". In 1989 he wrote the libretto for an eco-oratorio called "Plague and the Moonflower" which has been performed in five cathedrals in the UK and was the subject of a BBC 2 film in 1994. He has traveled the world's vineyards and distilleries for Oddbins, which culminated in his two prize-winning books, "The Grapes of Ralph" and "Still Life With Bottle". He has an Honorary D. Litt from the University of Kent. From; http://www.ralphsteadman.com/02ralph.asp 
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Quentin Blake
Blakes books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. In 2004 Quentin Blake was awarded the 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres' by the French Government for services to literature and in 2007 he was made Officier in the same order. Now in his 70s he is recognised, according to The Guardian, as 'a national institution'. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature. In 2002 his book Laureate's Progress recorded many of his activities and the illustrations he produced during his two-year tenure. For full text see; http://www.quentinblake.com/about/biography.html
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John Minnion
John Minnion (born Guildford, 13 August 1949) is an English illustrator. His distinctive black and white drawings have appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Times, where for six years he illustrated the television criticism column written by Lynne Truss, author of the surprise best-seller about punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Minnion drew politicians for the New Statesman and composers (both jazz and classical) for The Listener. His skilful caricatures are drawn always from photographs, never from life.
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Frank Hinder

Frank Hinder’s life spanned the 20th century, 1906 - 1992. He was born in the revolutionary decade in which Marinetti announced in 1909 - “Destroy the past!” The call was to make a new art for the 20th century. Cubism, Futurism,Orphism, Abstraction, were all created in this new spirit before the first world war. James Gleeson was questioning, with Freud and Jung, the reasonableness of ‘reason’ - creating a Dionysian surrealist language for the century of Kafka, Hitler etc, the never-ending list. Hinder forged an opposite Apollonian language, believing reason led to order and order hopefully to beauty. Hinder projects his vision of luminosity onto the universe. His language expressed the interconnectedness of everything. Naturalism, Semi-abstraction, Abstraction were all aspects needed for an inclusive world view. He believed art could get as close as science and philosophy to the unreal ‘real’ behind the looking glass of appearances. It has been a paradox of abstraction that it is closer to that ‘real’ than realism. From; http://www.frankhinder.com.au/ 

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Brian Puttock
The same Isle of Wight based author and illustrator combination that produced “A Looking Glass Sequelin 1993. The book also includes the original Carroll poem and Brian Puttock has illustrated that section as well as the sequel. There are a selection of (I assume) humourous fake reviews on the back including; ''Cathy Bowern’s continuation of the Snark is particularly devoid of merit…deserves to be trampled underfoot by 150 Indian elephants'.
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Aldren Watson 
Aldren Watson is a published illustrator. Published credits include Best in Children's Books, The Hunting of the Snark: With Other Nonsense Verse from Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Sylvie and Bruno and The Jungle Books, 2 Volumes.

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J L Carr

In 1967, having written two novels, Carr retired from teaching to devote himself to writing. He produced and published from his own Quince Tree Press a series of 'small books' designed to fit into a pocket: some of them selections from English poets, others brief monographs about historical events, or works of reference. In order to encourage children to read, each of the "small books" was given two prices, the lower of which applied only to children. As a result, Carr received several letters from adults in deliberately childish writing in an attempt to secure the discount. He also carried on a single-handed campaign to preserve and restore the parish church of St Faith at Newton in the Willows, which had been vandalised and was threatened with redundancy. Carr, who appointed himself its guardian, came into conflict with the vicar of the benefice, and higher church authorities, in his attempts to save the church. The building was saved, but his crusade was also a failure in that redundancy was not averted and the building is now a scientific study centre. In 1986 Carr was interviewed by Vogue magazine and, as a writer of dictionaries, was asked for a dictionary definition of himself. He answered: "James Lloyd Carr, a back-bedroom publisher of large maps and small books who, in old age, unexpectedly wrote six novels which, although highly thought of by a small band of literary supporters and by himself, were properly disregarded by the Literary World". Jim Carr died in Northamptonshire on 26 February 1994 aged 82 years. From; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._L._Carr

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