Monday, 25 March 2013

The Animal Doctor - Part Two

Royal Veterinary College NW1 0TU (Present day taken from Google Streetview)
Page viii (Drawn by Sheppard 1956)
The 'action' in this story (Animal Doctor by Laurence Maynell) begins at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden Town. The building illustrated by Raymond Sheppard is still used today by the College and "is also home to the London Bioscience and Innovation Centre (LBIC)". As their site states:
The foundation of The Veterinary College, London, in 1791 marked the establishment of the veterinary profession in this country. The development of the profession can be traced to that single act  [...] The Veterinary College, London, was born in the parish of St Pancras in 1791, on the present-day site of The Royal Veterinary College's Camden Town Campus. On 4 January 1792, the first four students attended the College to begin a three-year course intended to cover all aspects of the veterinary art. As funds became available the College developed, with facilities that provided a clear benefit to subscribers, such as stabling and an infirmary, taking precedence over a lecture theatre and dissecting rooms.

 Once can see, comparing the 1956 drawing to the current photo that the side archway and railings are still there, and as one would expect road markings and traffic have increased. The entrance as illustrated  by Sheppard hasn't change much either

Taken from Google Streetview

Page 10

To be continued...Part Three

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Animal Doctor - Part One


Page vi

The Animal Doctor by Laurence Meynell was illustrated by Raymond Sheppard and is one in a series called "Oxford Career Books". The series included the following titles spread over two decades as far as I can trace:
  1. STUDENTS AT QUEEN’S by John Stuart Arey, 1944
  2. THE FIRST TRIPPER by Peter Dawlish, 1947 (Illustrated by P. A. Jobson and the topic was the Merchant Navy) - more on Dawlish and Raymond Sheppard another day 
  3. THE YOUNG SCHOOLMASTER by Aubrey de Selincourt, 1948 (illustrated by F.W. Middlehurst)
  4. THE MONDAY STORY by James Leasor, 1951 (Illustrated by Evadné Rowan).
  5. POLICEMAN IN THE FAMILY by Laurence Walter Meynell, 1953 (illustrated by Neville Dear)
  6. AN ACTOR’S LIFE FOR ME by Roland Pertwee, 1953 (Illustrated by T. R. Freeman)
  7. HOTEL DOORWAY by Lorna Lewis, 1953 (Illustrated by Charlotte Hough) 
  8. THE ANIMAL DOCTOR by Laurence Meynell, 1956 (illustrated by Raymond Sheppard)
  9. THE YOUNG ARCHITECT by Laurence Walter Meynell, 1958
The blurb states "Each book combines a first-rate story with authentic details about a particular career." and 'story' should be taken literally. Meynell had many pseudonyms and wrote as a man and a woman! He was born in 1899 and died in 1989 and is most well known for his thrillers and some of his books were made into films. His fascinating story can be read online  so there's no point in me re-telling it. His bibliography can been seen together with a photo here, and Steve Holland has a small gallery of Meynell's thriller covers. His obituary appeared in the Times of Tuesday 18 April 1989. He appeared to be a tidy man even in death leaving £286,286 in his will!

The Times 18 April 1989
Raymond Sheppard's illustrations for the Animal Doctor show his flare and talent for depicting animals - he was a natural choice.

Page 1 Boy with cat

Page 8 Owl

Page 18 Young man talks to RVC porter

Page 22 Bear on chain

Page 40 Goat

Page 41 Cats in a frame

Page 55 hamster (?) eating carrots

To be continued...Part Two

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Favourite Wonder Book

The Favourite Wonder Book published by Odham Press was reprinted many times to my knowledge and later reprints had their reprint dates on the title page but unfortunately that was unusual. The British Library have a copy with an accession date of 1938. I own two copies which are exact reprints - one with no date and the other exact copy but for the cover with the date "Reprinted 1946"

Raymond Sheppard illustrated a short poem called Little Trotty Wagtail by John Clare (the poet born in 1793). It's a humorous poem with staccato sounds mirroring the nervous bird's actions. It's unusual for Sheppard to do this sort of caricatured face on a bird but he was only 25 years of age, if we take the British Library's date.

Favourite Wonder Book Page 183

Little trotty wagtail he went in the rain,
And twittering, tottering sideways he ne'er got straight again,
He stooped to get a worm, and looked up to get a fly,
And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry.

Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud,
And left his little footmarks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water-pudge, and waggle went his tail,
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.

Little trotty wagtail, you nimble all about,
And in the dimpling water-pudge you waddle in and out;
Your home is nigh at hand, and in the warm pig-sty,
So, little Master Wagtail, I'll bid you a good-bye. 

For researchers here are the two contents pages for the book. It can be easily bought on eBay, Abebooks etc and has wonderful colour and black and white illustrations. I have seen copies for sale that are blue, brown, black and burgundy, but also a printed colour illustrative dustjacket and the book with endpapers (which my two do not have). Another example of how hard it is to trace and catalogue these Odham and Blackie & Sons titles!

Monday, 4 March 2013

British Fresh and Salt Water Fish

The following colour plates are taken from a book. I'm guessing they were in an encyclopaedia, and I would love to know if anyone knows which book they appeared in. Please email me

If you enlarge the plates the only clue I can see is "N.P.K. VIII p.256" (and 257)". Knowing books of this era (pre-1958) the initials might stand for something like "New Pictorial Knowledge"...but that title was published in the 1970s.There is a mention of the fact that these paintings are "Specially painted for this work" on the colour plates
Fresh Water Fish 1
Fresh Water 1
1= Pike, 2= Perch, 3= Carp, 4= Trout, 5= Roach, 6= Salmon

Fresh Water Fish 2
Fresh Water 2
7= Stickleback, 8=Minnow, 9=Grayling, 10= Char, 11= Barbel, 12= Loach, 13= Miller's Thumb or Bullhead

Fresh Water 3

Fresh Water3
14= Gudgeon, 15= Tench, 16= Bream, 17= Dace, 18= Chub,

Salt Water Fish 1

Salt Water 1
19= Large Spotted Dogfish , 20= Red Mullet, 21= Mackerel, 22= John Dory, 23= Plaice,
24= Conger Eel