Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Raymond Sheppard and My Book of Flowers, Wild Flowers, Birds, Animals, Trees, Insects, Seashore Animals and Fish

I want to write about the posters that Raymond Sheppard produced for schools. This time I want to bring you books that were used by teachers in class to accompany posters and later I'll reproduce the posters themselves - where I know about them!

Macmillan's Easy Study Series or "The Children's Nature Books" as it says on the title page were edited by E. J. S. Lay (or to give him his full name Edward John Stanley Lay).

The one pictured below first, is dated 1943 inside - it's important for purposes of dating Sheppard's work to note that the cover, the standard tough linen binding, could have been done earlier, and the contents of this title in the series have none of Sheppard's work.

My Book of Flowers, 1943

My Book of Wild Flowers (note extra word in title!) by W. M. (Winifred Mary) Daunt and E. J. S. Lay, 1943 contains descriptions of flower families and has 16 colour plates (illustrated by Miss D. (Dorothy) Fitchew). I have a second copy where I noticed the flowers, the girl is picking, are different and the title has changed above Sheppard's artwork! The date inside the latter (below) is 1949 and to add to the mystery the title page states this is a reprint of the earlier 1943 - thus making me think that the cover is one thing; the contents another. Why do I think this? Sheppard drew a cover for the Kingfisher series of books but his work did not appear in any copy that I have seen and the cover was used for the whole series.

Kingfisher Books
 
Anyway, back to the My Book of series. The Preface credits not only Miss D. Fitchew but also Miss O. Tassart - which again we librarians would call a new edition not a reprint. I assume the flowers on the cover  (from what looks like daffodils changed to bluebells) has been done by Sheppard and not Tassart, who I suspect was missed off the first edition credits -Sheppard is not credited at all.

My Book of Wild Flowers, 1949

My book of birds by W. M. Daunt and E. J. S. Lay, 1943 has a cover of a heron by Sheppard with 16 colour plates by Roland Green ("the well-known bird artist"). There are black & white illustrations in the book and I recognise the uncredited 'LRB' as Leonard Robert Brightwell, but there are others I can't identify.

My Book of Birds, 1943

My book of animals and trees by Kate Harvey & E. J. S. Lay, 1943 has a cover by Sheppard that shows a deer family and the book contains 16 colour plates and black & white illustrations by Stuart Tresilian and Miss Dorothy Fitchew but also includes uncredited Harry Rountree (who signs his distinctive work). There are two drawings I believe are Sheppard on pages 20 and 36 (see below) otherwise I'm sure the others are not.

My Book of Animals and Trees, 1943

Brown rat from p.20

Otter and cub from p.36

My book of insects, seashore animals and fish by Kate Harvey & E. J. S. Lay, 1943 a cover of Koi Carp by Sheppard and contains 16 colour plates . The preface has a credit for the pictures and says "the text is illustrated by pictures of all the creatures in their full, natural colours, painted by the well-known nature artists F. W. Frohawk, A. G. Stubbs and Raymond Sheppard" 

My book of insects, seashore animals and fish, 1943
The illustrations by Frohawk (of insects) are signed and then there are a selection of seashore plants and creatures followed by these fish illustrations. None of the latter two sections are signed and I can't find anything on A. G. Stubbs to see what his artwork looked like.

Freshwater fish:
Minnow, Stickleback. Perch, Trout and Pike

Sea fish:
Red Gurnard, Red Mullet, Common Sole, Herring,
Mackerel, Pipe Fish, Armed Bullhead, Eel

Sea fish II:
Cod, John Dory, Sting Ray, Plaice,
Whiting, Lesser-spotted dogfish
It's interesting to see a different treatment by Sheppard of fish in plates that I have yet to identify, in an earlier article

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The copy of the Kingfisher Books (Second Series #B13) above "A Donkey called Maggie" by George H. Mallory has internal illustrations by Ferelith Eccles Williams and was published in 1958. Sheppard died in 1958 and I suspect the cover was done prior to 1958 as some of the series - which are hard to pin down - date back to the early 1950s.
Others in this third series with Sheppard covers:
  • "Coonie The Bandit" by James Alan Rennie, and is illustrated inside by Maurice Wilson
  • "Annaleeza's Adventure" by Susan Ann Rice - [illustrated by J. S. Goodall]
  • "The Golden Boy and Other Stories [The Kingfisher Books, Third Series]William Glynne-Jones [Illustrations by Chas Howarth] This latter was published 1951 and according to the bookseller is colour throughout - whether this means single drop colour or not, I don't know. 
And handily here is the cover - which is obviously by Sheppard thus confirming my theory.

 

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