Monday, 23 September 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Country Life and the Langham Sketch Club

Monkey Hill by Raymond Sheppard
For this short article I wanted to share an image published in a recent acquisition which touches on Sheppard in some way.

Country Life 13 November 1980 cover
Country Life began life in 1897 and is still being published. The 13 November 1980 issue has a two page article on "150 years of "The Langham": an artists' club and its past" written by A. H. Bear (on pp.1832-1835) with the above painting by Sheppard displayed.

Interestingly James Taylor in his book "Your Country Needs You: The secret history of the propaganda poster" (pp90-91) mentions that a "ridiculous argument broke out amongst its members as to whether the suppers should be hot or cold" and the subsequent split led to the formation of the London Sketch Club (who voted for hot suppers!). 

"Monkey Hill" that is shown in the article refers to the building in London Zoo. Malcolm Peaker has an overview of 'Monkey Hill' installation and the terrible story of how the baboon population diminished alarmingly quickly! If you want more details try here.

Iris Sheppard was sent a 150th anniversary invitation to a celebratory dinner

150th Anniversary dinner menu (21 Nov 1980)
  An exhibition took place in which one could see "Macaws" on loan from Mrs Sheppard.

150th Anniversary exhibition
Mrs Iris Sheppard is thanked

#148 in the exhibition is Sheppard

It can be reasonably deduced (as Christine Sheppard still owns this work) this is the actual image used in the exhibition

Macaws by Raymond Sheppard

For your added pleasure here are some sketches by Sheppard of macaws.

Macaw on perch in colour
Macaw in flight

Study of a Macaw late 1940's
Thanks to Paul Liss of Modern British Gallery

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Fifty...stories by Odhams

Fifty Great Sea Stories p547
I own three 700 page hardbacks published by Odhams Press Limited with no dustjackets and no publication dates. Both have one Sheppard illustration each. Part of the fun of doing this and other blogs is the help tiny corners of research can give to people, so I've gone down another 'rabbit hole' looking at this Odhams series... which I've put on my Visual Rants blog

But first the three I own with Sheppard illustrations...


Here's the page listing the illustrators - really unusual for such a book to go to this trouble!:
Fifty Great Sea Stories p12
 As you can see at the top of this article Sheppard did one illustration for a story called "The First Shot" by J. J. Bell As Wikipedia has a better listing than I could do I've linked to his biography and works here

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east is edited by Sheik A. Abdulla and contains 17 full page black and white illustrations. The copyright information on the contents page says "Copyright G737" which I can't decode - does anyone know how this was constructed? The first story is titled "The man with the shaven skull" by the Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer.

Here's the contents pages for collectors to peruse

Unusually the illustrators are all credited here. They are:

E. S. Annison, Dudley Cowes, J. Harris, Cyril Holloway, T. Grainger Jeffrey, Ronald Lampitt, H. Charles Paine, Eric Parker, Pisani, Tony Royle, James Short, A. Sindall, E. B. Thurston (x 2), S. Tresilian, Gilbert Wilkinson

The story that Sheppard does an illustration for is "Out of the jungle" by Hubert S. Banner. The image below appears on page 39

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east p.39
The story is of a British couple and how the wife does not believe the Malay superstitions. A man from Kominchi in Sumatra (a town well-known by Malays to have men who turn into tigers comes to them selling his wares. he tells the story of the 'were-tigers'  and is scoffed at. he is so angry that this woman does not believe he says he will bring proof in a week's time. Sudrono leaves to sell his wares praying for Allah to help him prove to her that such things happen in the jungle. He comes upon a woman who tells him that a local saw just nights ago the tiger attacking a heifer and that he saw the change take place before the man took to the shadows. Sudrono is told to get a bone from the heifer from the village chief with writing on it to prove it happened.On his way to the village, Sudrono is chased by the tiger and finds himself in a tiger-trap. I'll keep the ending to myself so you can be surprised when you might read it!

The author Hubert Stewart Banner appears to have written about the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago as well as Indonesia. He lived from 1891-1964.
"Known for his travel books and romances with a Dutch East India setting, [Kentish Fire] was written in his capacity as the Ministry of Information's Chief Regional Officer for the South East region. In it he writes of his experiences in Kent and Sussex (known as 'Hell's Corner' by the Nazi airmen), observing the impact of the Battle of Britain and afterwards, of the spirit in which the men and women of South East Britain met them"

Here's a short bibliography:
  • Romantic Java as it was and is: A Description Of The Diversified Peoples.  London: Seeley, Service & Co, 1927.
  • The Mountain of Terror. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1928.
  • Red Cobra. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929.
  • A Tropical Tapestry: Sketches of the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929. [Banner, a prolific fiction and non-fiction writer of the pre World War II era, takes his readers on a tour of the Malay Archipelago. The tour is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather a series of sketches to evoke further interest.]
  • The Clean Wind. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1931]
  • Great Disasters of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1931.
  • Flamboyante. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1932]
  • Calamities of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1932. [ Includes The Paris charity bazaar affair; the tragic fate of H.M.S. Captain; the Silvertown munition-works explosion; the 'Black Hole' of Paris; London's second biggest blaze; the great Kingston earthquake; the catastrophic storms of 1881; the Paisley cinema tragedy; the French floods of 1875; the 1906 Vesuvius eruption; Hell loose on the Hooghly; the Albion Colliery disaster; the Chatsworth railway horror; the Iroquois Theatre calamity; the Hook of Holland catastrophe of 1907; the Valparaiso earthquake terror, and R.38's last voyage]
  • Amy Johnson. London: Rich & Cowan, 1933.
  • Wanted on Voyage London: Hurst & Blackett, [1933]
  • These Men Were Masons. A series of biographies of Masonic significance London: Chapman & Hall, 1934. [It includes: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Kitchener, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Goethe among other notables]
  • Hell's Harvest.London: Hurst & Blackett, [1934]
  • Terror Wave. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1935]
  • Kentish Fire: A Tribute to the Men and Women of Kent and Sussex - Their Courage and Humour - Under Fire.  London: Hurst & Blackett, [1944]
  • Thus my Orient: 12 short stories. London: Dorothy Crisp & Co, [1946]
and I have found 2 short stories at Phil's Fictionmags Index:

  •     Out of the Jungle (ss) The Story-teller May 1933
  •     Old Sugar Bags (ss) The 20-Story Magazine Jul 1935

The second book of 704 pages, is Fifty world famous heroic deeds again by Odhams with no date except "Copyright S638". This time the artists are not listed and they drew the 17 black and white images and very strangely the images are all grouped after the contents pages! They are, as far as I can make out from the signatures:
S. van Abbe(?), Norman Howard, ?, ?, Holland(?), ?, ?, Clive Uptton, double page spread by Dudley S. Cowes, De Mornay, ?, Ronald Lampitt, Yates Wilson(?), ?, ?, 
Here are the contents:

As can be seen "Charlotte Corday, Tyrannicide" is the first story and the Sheppard illustration - which is the frontispiece, is titled "The Hero of “King Solomon's Mines”" referring to the story by Denis Clark.

The story makes tough reading as the mass killing of elephants and other animals grates an awful lot now, knowing about the extinction of some species. This is so different from reading about Jim Corbett, who only killed man-eaters. The story title is based on the person of Frederick Courteney Selous, DSO (31 December 1851 – 4 January 1917), who apparently was the real-life inspiration for Alan Quatermain in King Solomon's Mine and to be fair to Selous he was an early conservationist and indeed has a game reserve named after him

Denis Clark, the story's author contributed 6 stories to this particular book as can be seen above in the Contents page.

I've created a partial bibliography of his books below:

  • Golden Island. London: T. Nelson & Sons, 1939.
  • Tail End Charlie. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • Bandit's Bay. A story about Corsica. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • The Sea Kingdom of Corsica. London: Jarrolds, [1949]
  • Neptune laughed. London: Lutterworth Press, 1949.
  • Ships and Seamen. London, Longmans 1950.
  • Swordfish and Stromboli. Beachcombing round Sicily. London: Jarrolds, 1951.
  • In Search of Food. The story of man's quest for food. London: Longmans, 1951.
  • Explorers and discoverers. London: Longmans,Green, 1951.
  • Black Lightning. The story of a leopard. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1951.
  • Boomer: The life of a kangaroo. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1954.
  • The Jungle Monster. London: Lutterworth Press, 1959.
    CLARK, DENIS (fl. 1940s-1970s) (stories)
    • Last Round-up in Corsica (ar) Courier Jun 1949
    • Bontekoe’s Desperate Voyage (ar) Argosy (UK) Jun 1973
    • The Slave Who Defied Napoleon (ar) Argosy (UK) Jul 1973

"Undersea Hunting in Corsica" article from the Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1947

Fifty world famous heroic deeds Frontispiece
Thanks to Steve Holland for informing me Sheppard has no illustrations in 2 of these -Fifty Adventures and Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery and to all the booksellers who put up with my question regarding Sheppard illos!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Playing for the School

Frontispiece for Playing for the school
"His left flashed out like a sword
and took Brede fairly on the point of the jaw"

Playing for the school by Jack Heming was published in 1936 by Sampson, Low, Marston & Company Limited. The blurb for the book reads:
Brookwood School was in a bad way but the new games master and a new boy, Monty Carlin, revolutionise the school in a way that is full of thrills and fun
Raymond Sheppard drew the two illustrations in the book which are in black and white. My copy of the book has the second image loose so I can't say where it appears normally. This book is quite rare and I have never, in many years of research, seen a dust-jacket for it. If you by any chance have one I'd love to see it.

I have to confess to not enjoying boys' school stories and also never being a fan of cricket, I have not read the book.  The wonderful Robert J. Kirkpatrick has drawn up a short biography of Heming which I quote here, from The Encyclopaedia of Boys' School Stories, p.168:

Jack Heming was a versatile boy's writer who could turn his hand to school, flying, circus and adventure stories with equal aplomb. Little is known about his life other than he served in both world wars, firstly in the Royal Naval Air Service between 1914 and 1918, and in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve between 1939 and 1945. In between, he was, for a time, managing Editor of the Jersey Morning News. 
His one school story, originally published in 1936, was Playing for the school. Interestingly its setting was Rockwood School, a name already familiar to readers of Owen Conquest's (i.e. Charles Hamilton), stories in the Boys' Friend and elsewhere, which had started running some 21 years earlier. (Oddly the dustwrappers - of both the original edition and the later 1961 reprint - referred to 'Brookwood' School)
Playing for the school is a lively mixture of sport (mainly cricket) and humour. the school is at a low ebb, with no interest in games, and there is a plot to ruin it by financiers, anxious to develop the land on which it is built. A new games Master and a new pupil turn things around, and    the Cricket XI goes form strength to strength, thereby saving the school. Light relief is provided by a group of young would-be inventors, but this merely provides a series of diversions from the real story, which is fast paced and reasonably authentic. 

Unnumbered page from Playing for the school
"Amazing scenes followed
- a crowd of boys surged and catching up Monty Carlin
carried him shoulder high to the dressing room"
After the 250 pages of the story, there appears a 40 page publisher's catalogue for children - here's the first page, which conveniently starts with Heming himself, from which I copied my opening line for this article.

First two pages of the catalogue

Professor Stephen Bigger has a fascinating couple of articles on Heming, whose wife, Dorothy Eileen Marsh was a prolific writer with many pen-names. As Stephen writes:

Eileen unfortunately died early, in 1948, having brought up four children as well as writing 120 books. Jack later wrote after Eileen's death under her pen-names for a few volumes between 1948 and 1960

Read more about Dorothy here and about Heming and his wife here and the Air Adventure series. which I have listed below. Prof. Bigger also published his 2018 paper online WW2 Women Fliers in Fiction
And I shall leave it there because I see Steve Holland has tried to untangle some of the dynasty of Heming writers in his Forgotten Authors series and I can't compete with his thoroughness!

Finally Playing for the School was reissued in a shorter version by Purnell & Sons in 1961and here's the jacket for that one!

1961 Purnell version
Artist Unknown

BIBLIOGRAPHY (under Jack Heming)
  • The Air Circus.London: Sampson Low & Co, [1935]
  • The Air Treasure Hunt. London: Sampson Low & Co, [1935]
  • The Air Dope Hunters. London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • The Air Spies.London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • Playing for the School. London: Sampson, Low & Co, [1936]
  • The Desert Air Raider.London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • Blue Wings. London and New York: F. Warne & Co, [1938]
  • The Lost World of the Colorado.London and New York: F. Warne & Co, [1940]

I must thank Cathy of Pioneer Books for listing Sheppard as the artist and that started me on the track of this book which I have finally pinned down! Unfortunately Pioneer are no longer trading as of 1 July 2017 but Books Authors Titles of Melbourne, Australia also helped me and still have a copy as of July 2019.

PLEASE Booksellers there are people who collect books solely for the illustrations - PLEASE list artists!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Patrick by Diana M. Buttenshaw

Patrick by Diana M. Buttenshaw

Patrick - dustjacket
The story of a very young boy shipwrecked on an island who is rescued by his family's St Bernard dog and brought up by the dog and the wild animals of the island. He learns individual lessons from each animal whose language he also masters. He can run alongside the horse; hunt with the fox (only rabbits can be eaten); swim with the dolphin; play with the seal and leap like the goats.
After many years his island sees another shipwreck which eventually leads to his return to 'civilization' where he attends school, showing he is a top athlete and cricketer but also that he finds 'civilization's' ways strange and Patrick returns to the island, finding, in the interim some of his friends have died.

This delightful book was published in 1939 by Hodder and Stoughton and reviews were positive for what appears to be Buttenshaw's first book. The Guardian (October 27, 1939) states "The illustrations by Raymond Sheppard are in black and white, and give solidity and strength to the book".

Diana Marguerite Buttenshaw (c1919-2013) married Major William Byrde (Royal Engineers) and the Times of 9 March 2013 tells us she passed away "peacefully at home in her sleep on 2nd March 2013". The memorial service took place at Membury Parish Church (near Axminster, in Devon).

Searching around it appears that the Major might have been posted all over Europe as Diana's books all seem to take place in locations outside Britain, but I can't be sure of either fact, not having read them all! It looks as if their first daughter was born on October 20, 1948 in B.M.H. Hamburg, a military hospital and another, Clare Hilary Katharine, in 1954 (May 13) at Military Families Hospital, Chatham

Below are all the black and white illustrations that Sheppard had published in Patrick showing an early aptitude for framing his illustrations either through 'openness', half-open panels or frames. 

Young Patrick gets a lesson from Va the Eagle, p.9

Va, Alaric and Patrick see a shipwreck p.25

Patrick meets the strangers p.35

Patrick is brought some skins p.39

Patrick is happy p.49

Patrick rides Hross p.58

Seolh the seal says goodbye to Patrick p.70

Patrick caught "stealing" a marrow, p. 96

Patrick hunts for food p.107

The Head asks Patrick's friend to watch over him p. 120

Patrick begins to understand how to watch the cricket ball p. 137

Patrick beats the school champion p. 157

Patrick finds a new friend p. 166

Patrick wins the race p.171

Patrick asks the monkeys about their conditions p. 191

Rescuing a hunted fox p. 207

Patrick saves his school friend p. 213

A joyous greeting committee p. 241

Va and Patrick see a search party p.252

Patrick is happy to be left in peace p.266


  • Patrick ... Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard. London: Macmillan & Co, 1939.
  • The Sleeping Princess. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1941. "Real interest lies in the detail of life in Gibraltar"
  • Say not Good-Night. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1943. "paints a careful picture of the Andalusian coast and peoples it with some wholly improbable Spaniards of the school of W.J.Locke"
  • Dominic. Days in the life of a boy who lived in a forest. London: Frederick Muller, 1943.
  • The Villach Road.London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1947. A love story of Michael, an Englishman and Greta an Austrian farm girl
  • Pepito of Guadiaro ... Illustrated by Margaret Horder. London: Frederick Muller, 1948. "the eponymous boy, abandoned by his parents in the mountains in Andalucia; he's then rescued and raised by a donkey, a rabbit, a hare and a cat."
    Journey to Venice. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1949.
  • An Oak for Posterity. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1952. "Life with the occupation troops in Germany and the Tyrol form the background of this entertaining romance. There's excitement, too, in a wild chase after a kidnapped child through the bombed ruins of Hamburg, and an avalanche in the
  • Incident in Ismalia. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1953. "the author compensates for the slightness of the plot with an informed insight into the lives of the wives and families of men stationed in the
    Suez Canal zone"
  • The One Black Swan. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955.
  • Chain of Command. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956
  • Violence in Paradise. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1957. "thinly veiled fictional island of 'Sophos', where an unholy alliance of Communists and clerics had formed the 'Szit' movement, fighting for 'Halitos' with the Motherland."

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Picture Post (Part Four)

International Artists present Raymond Sheppard

In the last three articles I've shown all Sheppard's illustrations accompanying stories, autobiographies, biographies and general articles. This time I'm concentrating on the last lot in Picture Post which is advertising. Now I don't want to give you the impression that these only appeared in Picture Post. They certainly didn't but here's a good as any place to include them for your pleasure!

The first one, of the ICI series, (I've written about ICI before) appears in the 12 December 1953 edition of Picture Post and is labelled "Buried Treasure", showing a cocker spaniel digging up a bone. The article talks about how the restriction on importing sulphuric acid from the USA lead to the home-grown solution taken from a rock called anhydrite. I wonder, is digging underground the connection between this issue and the cocker spaniel? The full text of the article is reproduced below for your interest.

Picture Post 12 December 1953 p.10

In Picture Post 3 April 1954 we see another of the ICI advertising columns which over that period had quite a few artists. "Waste not, want not" is the title of this one and talks about how a product created in one division of ICI may not be a total waste so all rejects are examined for alternate uses. I'm not sure why bees demonstrate this but the resultant image is gorgeous.

Picture Post 3 April 1954 p.10

Interestingly, the copywriters weren't very imaginative. I originally found the following in a copy of the Reader's Digest when clearing my late mother's house. Subsequently I saw the printer's proof that Christine Sheppard owned but also I've seen all three of these adverts in other magazines and papers all formatted differently - one column and two columns. The one below, although being the same text as the cocker spaniel above, has a terrier digging!

Reader's Digest January 1954 p112
Moving on to the other group of adverts that appeared - as far as I've tracked them so far! -The British Motor Corporation Limited. The company was formed in the early 1950s from a merger between Austin and Morris companies and at that time held nearly 40% of all British motor car production!

Picture Post 31 March 1956
"Getting through at 20 below"

In 1956 Sheppard produced three full page colour adverts for the company via the agency International Artists. On a tearsheet owned by Christine Sheppard, we see that the adverts appeared in a variety of magazines:

  1. March 31 1956 Illustrated London News (13 x 9 inches)
  2. March 22 1956 The Field (12 x 9 inches)
  3. March 31 1956 Illustrated (12 x 9 inches)
  4. March 31 1956 Picture Post (12 x 9 inches)
I also know it appeared in Country Life (29 March 1956). The adverts also ran on multiple weeks.

The above husky advert also appeared in a newspaper - here's the B&W version - I don't know which:

The second advert appeared in June 1956 and showed the elephant "Strength in the right place!" and appeared to my knowledge in the Illustrated London News (30 June 1956), Picture Post (16 June 1956) and Punch (6 June 1956)

Illustrated London News 30 June 1956
"Strength in the right place!"
And the third one drawn by Raymond Sheppard is of llamas with the caption "Roadholding is vital!". It certainly appeared in Illustrated London News (11 July 1956), Picture Post (14 and 28 July 1956)

Picture Post 14 July 1956
"Roadholding is vital!"
Finally I noticed when looking for other BMC adverts that the theme started earlier but was not illustrated by Sheppard (Picture Post 21 April 1956 "600,000 H.P. every week" shows a liner at sea)  and "Breeding comes out at extra speed" appeared showing a horse race - again not illustrated by Sheppard. I also found two 1960 adverts which are similar but not by Sheppard

Not a Sheppard illustration

Not a Sheppard illustration

Not a Sheppard illustration

There is another advert in the Picture Post which I'll save for another time