Monday, 16 September 2013

Raymond Sheppard and Heidi and Dog Crusoe

In a previous article on Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, I commented that Sheppard had drawn for Blackie & Son and there were various reprints under different series titles. I have a copy of the classic Heidi that on the dustjacket states "Blackie's Famous Books" and on the inside flyleaf of the cover states "Blackie's Library of Famous Books". The former is a reasonable abbreviation in order to fit the title on the cover!

Heidi cover by Raymond Sheppard

List of Blackie's Library of famous Books
The difficulty in identifying whether Sheppard drew the covers for all these (let alone the illustrations - if there are any) is they are so common but these specific editions with dustjackets are so hard to find!

Here are the internal pictures of the Heidi:

Frontispiece “Oh, I know what these are for”

p.117 “Oh, the dear little things, how pretty they are!”

p.169 The moonlight fell on a white figure standing motionless in the doorway

p.317 “Look! Look! I can make proper steps!”

Interestingly a bookseller in Spain of all places, has an original art piece (costing £596.03 with £10.12 shipping today's currency conversion rate!) which does not appear in any of the three editions of Heidi illustrated by Sheppard I have seen. This can be viewed here. I have reproduced the illustration below which the bookseller (Escalinata, librería) describes (in my rough translation) as:

ORIGINAL DRAWING. Unpublished illustration for HEIDI, Blackie & Son Limited edition, illustrated by Raymond Sheppard, signed by the author [sic] and in pencil final size and page number is indicated. 
The bookseller kindly sent the scan below for which I am extremely grateful.
Unpublished Heidi drawing by Raymond Sheppard

The full text of this story written in 1860 by R. M. Ballantyne (24 April 1825 – 8 February 1894) can be read on Project Gutenberg in your favoured e-format, and tells the story of young Dick Varley who saves the life of a Newfoundland puppy from being roasted alive by Native Americans. He then has to learn how to discipline and care for the dog and their adventures in North America in the land of the Red Indians makes thrilling reading for younger people. Its sub-title was "A tale of the Western prairies".

The copy I have has only a cover illustration by Raymond Sheppard showing a Newfoundland running along with two prairie riders and the spine illustration shows a boy being defended from a mountain lion by the dog. 

This Blackie edition of Dog Crusoe (the title of which appears listed above) has a different look from the other books mentioned here. Hopefully in writing about this some keen collector might get in contact and help complete this picture!

The only inner illustration is a colour frontispiece by -I think - Arch(?) Webb. If I'm reading this right, there is an excellent article on him on the Look & Learn site

The Dog Crusoe cover illustrations by Sheppard
Frontis by A. Webb.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Raymond Sheppard and Enid Blyton (Part One)

Raymond Sheppard and Enid Blyton 

Part One: Fourth Holiday Book

(All the illustrations below are from the Fourth Holiday Book)
Fourth Holiday Book page 38

I'll keep Sheppard's fantastic illustrations for Enid Blyton's books "The Adventures of Pip" and "More Adventures of Pip" for another day, but mention here some unusual illustrations by Raymond Sheppard.
Fourth Holiday Book page39

There were 12 "Enid Blyton Holiday Books" published between 1946 and 1957 according to the fantastic Enid Blyton Society website. Why Sheppard wasn't in the first three I have no idea but he had work appear in 5 of the 12 - see the list below.

His artwork in these books leave me feeling uncertain. For example, in these first two pictures, Tiny appears like a Mabel Lucie Attwell type cute figure and the Pixie's head in the first picture is so distorted with Tiny looking at his pot, not him.

There are some redeeming features in this artwork, such as the hedgehog and tree on page 120, the hullabaloo on page 135, the big oak tree on page 136 but here for your reading pleasure are all Sheppard's illustrations in the Fourth Holiday Book

Fourth Holiday Book page40

Fourth Holiday Book page41

Fourth Holiday Book page42

Below are listed all the book in the series that featured Sheppard artwork. I do not have a single copy with a dustjacket so have borrowed the images - again - from the Enid Blyton Society

The Fourth Holiday Book (Published 1949)

The Balloon-Pipe - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
Silly-One and The Jewels - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
Billy And The Brownie - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

The Fifth Holiday Book (Published 1950) 

The Sneezing Dog - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
Tippy's Trick - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
The Whispering Pool - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

The Sixth Holiday Book (Published 1951)

The Cuckoo In The Clock- Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
The Wrong Bus - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

The Eighth Holiday Book (Published 1953)

Wagger Goes To The Show - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard
The Spanking Umbrella - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

The Ninth Holiday Book (Published 1954)

A Visitor To Dinner - Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

Fourth Holiday Book page117
Fourth Holiday Book page118

Fourth Holiday Book page119
The position we see of the potagonist above shows a figure with weight and anticipation in the face. Lovely!
Fourth Holiday Book page120
The tree above is shown in two colours much like railway posters in the early 20th century.

Fourth Holiday Book page121

Fourth Holiday Book page122
It's obvious above that the pixie has an elongated head, so perhaps I'm being too hasty in my comments above!
Fourth Holiday Book page130

Fourth Holiday Book page131

Fourth Holiday Book page132
In the pictures above I think Sheppard draws the proportions of a child in a child's car brilliantly.
Fourth Holiday Book page133

Fourth Holiday Book page134

Fourth Holiday Book page135

Fourth Holiday Book page136
I love trees and this one is a grand old fellow

Fourth Holiday Book page137

Have a great time browsing the contents listings of the books at the EB site with their typically Blyton titles here (and scroll down their pages for some pictures from them too!)