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Other Illustrators

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Other Illustrators

Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Feb 2016, 12:21

As this topic doesn't have its own section I thought this would be the best place to show pics from some non-Blyton illustrators who were around in the 40s and 50s. Blyton illustrators often get criticised for varying the age of children and before I say who this illustrator is and the book it came from, and also show two further illustrations, I thought I would ask a simple question, which may get no response at all! How old do you think these children are?
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Daisy » 28 Feb 2016, 12:55

As boys were often not promoted to long trousers until their early teens I would guess about 14.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Eddie Muir » 28 Feb 2016, 13:15

You are about right, Daisy. I remember having my first long trousers towards the end of my second year in grammar school. That was in 1957 when I was about six months off my 14th birthday.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Feb 2016, 13:31

They look about 14 to me too.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Feb 2016, 13:40

Yes, they look at least 14 to me too, but the two in the foreground are both 11 and the one at the back is 9!! The illustrator is Leslie Otway and here are two more illustrations from the same book and they are the same three children:-
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The book is Full Steam Ahead by Eric Leyland , published by Brockhampton in 1951.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Feb 2016, 13:50

The boys do seem a bit younger in the other pictures. I've never read anything by Eric Leyland but the title sounds promising. The two men look wonderfully suave!
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Rob Houghton » 28 Feb 2016, 17:39

The youngest I would have placed the three boys was 13 - so I was still way out! I love the illustrations though - he would have been a great choice for Enid Blyton stories such as Famous Five or Secret Seven.

I agree the story looks promising just from the illustrations and the title! 8)

The only thing I'm not keen on with this illustrator is the fact he makes some of the characters stare in the direction of the reader, so the illustrations don't seem natural. Eileen Soper or Stuart Tresilian and the like never did that in any of their illustrations.

The illustration where the boys are seated, they are all 'looking at the camera' so to speak, as is the man on the right in the other illustration. To me, that's a bit off-putting and weakens the artist's work somewhat - but I like his style.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Feb 2016, 19:47

Robert Houghton wrote:I love the illustrations though - he would have been a great choice for Enid Blyton stories such as Famous Five or Secret Seven.

I agree the story looks promising just from the illustrations and the title! 8)


I would agree with you, Rob, that a number of illustrators would have been better than Burgess Sharrocks - Enid drew the short straw on that one. I bought a number of books for a few pence at car boots etc. just because I liked the wrapper - that was about 25 years ago and I have decided now is the time to read some of them and I am quite enjoying most of them. I will post some more illustrations from a Brockhampton book from another illustrator who I quite like.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Rob Houghton » 28 Feb 2016, 19:53

I agree about Burgess Sharrocks - awful! I do quite like his cover for 'Fun For The Secret Seven', though - ironic it's one of Enid's weakest books and one of Sharrocks' best illustrations! :lol:
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Feb 2016, 20:29

Another Brockhampton book here from 1953, but different children and a different illustrator, John Woods. I have four of these books about Max and Scrap and there may be more, but the illustrations are consistent throughout with no age problems as both these boys are 12 as is the Swiss boy who owns the dog.
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The book is Village Under the Water and it is also by Eric Leyland.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby John Pickup » 28 Feb 2016, 20:41

Eric Leyland wrote quite a few books for children, I've got one called The Counterfeit Mystery published by Museum Press in 1951. The only illustration is the frontspiece which is also replicated on the dustwrapper but not credited. Eric Leyland wrote a book called Mystery Moor set in Cumberland but I've yet to find a copy.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Rob Houghton » 28 Feb 2016, 20:58

Hi books look very interesting! I've never come across any. Did he ever write in any other books, such as Daily Mail annual etc? Just wondered if I might have him in publications like that?

I love these illustrations - so evocative - and it's interesting how the flavour of Enid's books is reflected in these illustrations - shows how many books were of similar ilk in those days. I often think many people were trying to BE Enid Blyton! ;-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Francis » 28 Feb 2016, 21:18

Tony's examples of illustrations of books other than Enid Blyton shows that the 1940s and 1950s was something of a golden age for illustrators.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Francis » 28 Feb 2016, 21:19

Tony's examples of illustrations of books other than Enid Blyton shows that the 1940s and 1950s was something of a golden age for illustrators.
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Re: Other Illustrators

Postby Courtenay » 28 Feb 2016, 21:19

I agree they do look very Blytonesque — in that last illustration, the boy on the right with the curly hair could easily be George calling to Timmy, while the two boys behind her would just need to be a little taller and older-looking in order to pass for Julian and Dick!

What is telling is that Enid's books have gone on being so popular for decades and decades, while the vast majority of similar authors from her time are now barely remembered except by older collectors and aficionados. What was it Enid had that they didn't? :wink: I would guess it's the freshness and fun of her stories, for a start — even with their classic "old fashioned" flavour (which even modern editing usually can't remove entirely), they never seem stuffy or wooden. It would be interesting to read some of these books by her contemporaries and compare them with Enid's style to see how close they came.
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