Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fairy Tales of John D Batten 1

The fact that I have not been able to chuck out this absolutely knackered copy of English Fairy Tales (1911) is in large part due to these illustrations by John D Batten. Batten appears to have been a minor but busy illustrator at the turn of the last century, including through the 1890s. He bears more of a debt to the 'movement' of the 1860s than to Beardsley and the 1890s set, although of course, their influence can't be entirely absent. Batten seems to have specialised in myth, legend and religion.

The last illustration below bears a striking, but I'm sure entirely coincidental, resmeblance to the way in the guardians of the castle of Dream are represented in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series - if I get a moment I will dig out a picture to blog for comparison.


John C said...

A great find and another artist I'd not come across before. A shame so many of these fine illustrators have their work imprisoned in mouldering volumes.

Gigi said...

I'm actually looking for a certain illustration but I have no idea to which book it belongs to. It's the illustration to Jack the giant where they show the three girls hanged by their hair. The site I found it on says this:
This is an illustration of the part that the Victorian Jacobs' prudery censored from his version.
So if it belongs to Joseph Jacobs English fairy tales then it must have been drawn by John D. Batten. But apparently it was censored from that version and taken upon the Opie, Iona version. But I'm not exactly sure. I was wondering if you might be able to help me with this. Maybe you even have the picture I'm talking about.

Ælfhere said...

Wonderful! Victorian children's book illustrations for me are a fine testament to how seriously the Victorians took the matter of childhood and education.

Anonymous said...

John D. Batten has been my favorite artist for many years but it's only until recently that I have been able to learn his name. Thank you so much for posting his work, I believe this has helped me locate the title of a book that I have been searching for for years.

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