Tree trunks from an Arthur Rackham illustration

Near the Devil’s Fingers, Jenkins sees;

“The elder thicket was flowering, blossom like hoar frost, a faint sprinkling of browonish red, powdered over the green and white ivy-strangled tree-trunks, gnarled and twisted, as in an Arthur Rackham goblin-haunted illustration.” [HSH 150/ 161]

Illustration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Arthur Rachham, 1928 photo from Laura Massey The Golden Age of Illustration: Arthur Rackham

Colored plate from
Washington Irving The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Arthur Rackham, illustrator, 1928
Geroge G. Harrap, publisher, London
photo from Laura Massey The Golden Age of Illustration: Arthur Rackham

 

Arthur Rackham (1867- 1939) was the preeminent children’s book illustrator of the early twentieth century.  Like Beardsley, he began his career as an insurance clerk. One of the first books he illustrated was The Ingoldsby Legends (1898).  He was a master of gnarled tree trunks, often inhabited  by little people; we show just a couple of many possible examples.

Illustration from Midsummer Night's Dream Arthur Rackham, 1908 photo from peterharrington.co.uk

Illustration from Midsummer Night’s Dream
Arthur Rackham, 1908
photo from Laura Massey The Golden Age of Illustration: Arthur Rackham

The list of classic works that Rackham illustrated is long, including Fairy Tales of the Brothers GrimmPeter Pan in Kensington GardensWind in the Willows, and Alice in Wonderland, among many others.

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