Monday, 11 November 2013

Raymond Sheppard and The No Name Deer by J. W. Lippincott

Wikipedia tells us that the author of "The Phantom Deer" (or "The No Name Deer" as this UK edition is titled) is the father, Joseph Wharton Lippincott (February 28, 1887– October 22, 1976) who amongst other things founded, in 1937 the Joseph W. Lippincott Award for Outstanding Librarianship, which continues to be awarded by the American Library Association each year. His son Joseph Wharton Jr. was also a supporter of libraries in his time as head of the company his family founded "J. B. Lippincott & Co." which eventually merged with what we know as HarperCollins

The engraved cover

A proof of the dustjacket

The No Name Deer illustrated by Raymond Sheppard was published in the UK by Macmillan & Co., in 1956. The picture of the proof copy belongs to Christine Sheppard and is the only copy of the dustjacket I have ever come across. My copy of the book is that illustrated above (with no dustjacket)
Frontispiece
The dog stood on his hind legs to sniff at the little deer in Jack's arms

Lippincott wrote quite a few books about nature and animals - these are the ones I have found:
  • Bun: a Wild Rabbit (1918)
  • Red Ben the Fox of Oak Ridge (1919)
  • Gray Squirrel (1921)
  • Striped Coat, the Skunk (1922) illustrated with photographs
  • Persimmon Jim the 'Possum (1924)
  • Long Horn, Leader of the Deer (1928) illustrated with photographs
  • The Wolf King (1933) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • The Red Roan Pony (1934) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • Chisel-Tooth the Beaver (1936) illustrated by Roland V. Shutts
  • Animal Neighbors of the Countryside (1938) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • Wilderness Champion: The Story of a Great Hound (1944) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • Black wings: The Unbeatable Crow (1947) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • The Wahoo Bobcat (1950) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • The Phantom Deer (1954) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • Old Bill, the Whooping Crane (1958) illustrated with photographs
  • Coyote, the Wonder Wolf (1964) illustrated by Ed Dodd
Sheppard shows strong compositions of deer in their natural setting here  and they mirror other work in other magazines. But as usual Sheppard does not duplicate but uses his intimate knowledge of the wildlife he studied to produce fresh illustrations
Page 80.
He gave a bound, a beautiful, graceful leap, the last that he was ever to make
Here we see the deer's antlers are the focal point and we then realise he is swimming past mangroves (with a hind following) but then the warning note - a hunter in a boat can be seen taking aim
Page 123
The buck surged forward; the buck knew he was discovered
A stag, four deer and a fawn stand at the water's edge, two raccoons scramble onto a branch. The dark background adds to the ominous atmosphere.
Page 175
It was the highest ground where they could at least keep their footing

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