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Saturday, October 21, 2017

C E Montford

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

C.E. Montford was a commercial artist who also illustrated a small range of comics and children’s books. He was not, it must be said, particularly talented, with his best work being done towards the end of his career, in the form of comic strips.

He was born on 8 September 1891 in Leyton, Essex, and christened Charles Edwin Montford. His father, Charles William Montford (1854-1922) was a hairdresser (as was his grandfather) who had moved from Bow, in East London, shortly before Charles’s birth, living at 357 High Street, Leyton. His mother, Clara, née Oliver, born in Coventry in 1857, was the daughter of a watchmaker. As well as Charles, they had two other children: Clare (born in Bow in 1888, died in Hampstead in 1893), and Doris, born in 1901).

Montford was trained at the Walthamstow School of Art (founded in 1883 by the Walthamstow Literary Institute, and which closed  in 1915). At the time of the 1911 census, when he was still a student there, the family was living at 133 Grange Park Road, Leyton, with Charles William Montford having apparently experienced a downturn in his fortunes and was working as a lavatory attendant.

Montford’s earliest known work was for The Strand Magazine in July 1916, with a series of black and white comic sketches accompanying anecdotes and jokes, centring on religion and the church, sent in by readers. This was followed by a similar set of sketches for a humorous article about life in a chemist’s shop.

In 1925 he illustrated two boys’ school stories for Thomas Nelson & Sons, although there was then a gap of nine years before his next recorded work, when he became briefly closely associated with the publisher Sampson Low, Marston & Co., and illustrated six books, mainly school adventure stories, by G. Gibbard Jackson. He also illustrated four more Sampson Low school stories by Michael Poole, Godfrey Pullen and A. Harcourt Burrage.  All of these were published between 1934 and 1937. Some of his illustrations were signed “C E Montford” and others simply “C E M.”

His work also appeared in the occasional children’s annual and similar large-format books, such as Hullo Boys: The Wireless Uncle’s Annual, The Schoolgirls’ Adventure Book, The Adventure Story Omnibus and Our Boys’ Gift Book.

In the meantime, he had married Josephine May Houchin (born in Shelley, Essex, on 2 May 1895, the daughter of George Houchin, a road labourer, and his wife Jane) on 21 June 1924 at St. James’s Church, Ongar, Essex. They had one child, Malcolm Charles, born on 12 May 1926 in West Ham. However, the marriage was not, initially at least, a happy one, with Josephine seeking a separation within two years. This was, it was argued in court (and reported in The Chelmsford Chronicle on 23 July 1926), a direct result of Montford’s mother living with the couple, who persisted in interfering in their domestic affairs. In addition, Josephine accused her husband of cruelty, citing instances where he had assaulted her, locked her in her room, and had left her at weekends to spend the time in Luton. For his part, Charles denied the allegations of assault, and accused his wife of assaulting him, a claim backed up by his mother. However, the court agreed with his wife, granting a separation order and instructing Charles to pay £2 a week to support his wife and child. Happily, it appears that the couple were subsequently reconciled.

At the time of the court hearing, Charles was apparently living at Woodstock Road, Walthamstow, and his wife at Edinford Bridge Road, Ongar. However, Charles was also recorded as living at Pollards Hill South, Streatham, an address he seems to have maintained from 1924 to 1929, when he moved to 224 Collier Row Lane, Romford, Essex.

It was around this time that he started working for the Amalgamated Press, his earliest work including illustrations for the first five “Valerie Drew” stories in The Schoolgirl’s Weekly in 1933. He followed this later in the 1930s with comic strips for Radio Fun and The Wonder. At this time he was working as a commercial artist out of a studio at 36 & 38 Whitefriars Street, off Fleet Street, London, using the name Chas E. Montford. He went on to draw a comic strip version of Charles Dickens’s 'A Christmas Carol' for The Children’s Newspaper in 1946, and also drew for P.M. Production’s Lucky Dip and Starry Spangles, and some Kit Carson and Buck Jones stories for the Amalgamated Press’s Cowboy Picture Library. He also worked on Film Fun in the 1950s. He only illustrated a handful of books after the Second World War, including re-issues of Charles Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

His credited work appears to have stopped after 1961, although he may have remained active as a commercial artist. He remained at Collier Row Lane in Romford until his death, which occurred on 17 April 1975. He left an estate valued at £9,244 (£63,000 in today’s terms). His wife died at the same address on 3 December 1978, leaving an estate valued at twice that of her husband’s.


Books illustrated by C.E. Montford
Pepper’s Crack Eleven by Rowland Walker, T. Nelson & Sons, 1925
Carew of the Fourth: A School Adventure Story for Boys by Peter Martin, T. Nelson & Sons, 1925
Stories from the Arabian Nights, The New Century Press, 1934
Schoolboy Speed Kings by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1934
The Air Spies of the North Sea by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1934
Speed Boat Spies by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson low, Marston & Co., 1934
Schoolboy Sleuths by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1935
The Flying Smugglers by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1935
Baffling the Air Bandits by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1935
Air Fighters of the Andes by G. Gibbard Jackson, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1936(?)
Detectives at Burnden School by Michael Poole, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1935
Chums of St. Olaf’s and Other Stories, The Epworth Press, 1935
The Flying Five and Other Stories, The Epworth Press, 1936
Clive, Centre-forward by Charles Harold Croft, University of London Press, 1937
The Dawncombe Air Boys by Godfrey F. Pullen, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Rebel of the House by A. Harcourt Burrage, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Well Played Sir! By A, Harcourt Burrage, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Max of the Mountains: A Story of a Journey to Switzerland by F.R. Gillman, University of London Press, 1937
The Roof of the World by Kingsley Foster, University of London Press, 1937
The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne, Juvenile Productions Ltd., 1937 (re-issue)
The Silver Snake: A Tale of Adventure by Pat Garner, Richard Lesley & Co., 1946
Dawnay Leaves School by Hylton Cleaver, F. Warne & Co., 1947
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens, Alexander Hamilton, 1947 (re-issue)
Green Mountain Boy by Leon W. Dean, Hutchinson & Co., 1949
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, P.R. Gawthorn Ltd., 1950(?) (re-issue)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Comic Cuts - 20 October 2017

The day after I said "I've got to pick up the pace" of work, I spent a chunk of the day planning how I'd be avoiding doing any work over the weekend and into the following week. Easy to say you'll do more work, not so easy to put it into practice.

We had a fantastic evening on Saturday in the company of Jeremy Hard. While most comedy involves a comedian standing on front of a microphone, talking, Jeremy Hardy personifies the art of standing in front of a microphone, talking. He moves away from the microphone only twice. There's no toying with the microphone stand, no walking back and forth. With only the occasional hand gesture and a few arm gestures for emphasis, the hour and a half he's on stage is an uninterrupted, unimpeded by distraction, comical – let's not forget that – demolition of the politics of the past 18 or so months. And it's side-achingly funny and just what you need when every day the news chronicles the economic disaster this country is going through and the even worse horrors we're about to face.

Trying to get to sleep after that proved problematic. With an early start due, I woke up at 2:15am and again at 3.00. I  dozed off a couple of times after that, only to be awoken by the alarm clock – the first time I've used one for probably thirty years – at 5:15am. Just enough time for a cup of coffee before being picked up by my sister for our second boot fair of the summer. We arrived at the venue at just after 6.00 and were guided around the field to the opposite side that we were on the last time we did one of these. If you're a regular reader, you might recall that things didn't turn out so well for us on that occasion, with low attendance numbers for a bank holiday and a total sale of £26.50, less the £6 cost of the pitch.

Dawn over Ardleigh Boot Fair.
We were back at Ardleigh on Sunday, but we arrived earlier and were closer to the main car parking area. That and keeping our fingers crossed should help, we thought. Pulling up to where we were to pitch our table, the car came immediately under attack from people walking up the line and knocking on windows: "Got any mobile phones?" "Got any TVs?" "Got any computers?"

We managed to get out of the car and wrestle the table out of the back. The first box on top drew half a dozen people, looking in by torchlight and phonelight, as did every box we put out. These fireflies buzzed around every box as they came out, then flew away towards the next pitch as a new car arrived and a table was unpacked or a blanket thrown down on the damp grass.

To counter the damp, I was reusing the bubble wrap from the last boot fair, so all of my boxes of books were on the ground this time. The two boxes of spare DVDs went on the table, but most of that was for my sister, who is on the move again and wanted to get rid of as much as she could. She made a quick, early sale: a whole £2 before she'd even finished unpacking. The day was off to a flying start.

The moon was high in the sky and it was still before dawn, but the fireflies kept buzzing around looking for bargains. I sold a DVD – that first sale is always a relief  – but I still had time to let my mind wander... maybe there's a film to be made about low status vampires having to go to boot fairs to buy cheap blood.

Even at this time of the morning, it was warm and sultry, the temperature having barely dropped from the previous evening – even Jeremy Hardy had commented on how hot it was at the Arts Centre, which, to be fair, had sold out, so it was packed with 300 or so human-shaped heat generators. The only negative to this heat was condensation... everything that was laid out soon had a light sheen to it. Not good for books, although they were tightly packed into trays, so it only meant giving the spines a wipe down every now and then. All sixteen trays.

The dew was eventually dried out by the sun and we were kept busy all morning as people arrived in waves: the fireflies, the hungry early birds, the breakfast clubbers, the Sunday sleep-ins and, towards the end, the stragglers just out because it was such a nice, sunny day. Plenty of footfall which was good news for both of us. We both did pretty well, Julie taking over £50 (and, as usual, found some loose change on the floor, this time 5p) and my takings just shy of that at £45. That means I've paid off the cost of the table – I still had £15 to go at the beginning of the day – and, after the price of the pitch, I still had £24 clear profit. More importantly, those sale equate to about five feet of shelf space, which will take, oh... at least a few months to fill. OK, maybe just a couple of months.

Arriving back home, after unloading the car, I crashed for a couple of hours, pottered around on the computer for an hour or so, and then we headed out again to see Bladerunner 2049. I've been looking forward to this one since they confirmed it was going ahead a couple of years ago... I mean, how could Bladerunner not be the favourite film of a science fiction/crime-noir fan like me?

It didn't disappoint. We'd watched the 'Final Cut' version of the earlier movie a couple of weeks ago, and the sequel dovetails perfectly. There are shots and music cues in the latter that echo the first film which won't necessarily make sense to people who haven't seen the original. I've seen complaints about the languid pacing, but as someone who remembers from thirty years ago that weren't edited at such a pace where scenes become impossible to follow. (Film critic Mark Kermode mentioned a film school exercise the other week: watch a film and clap when you see an edit point... it's like a slow handclap; now watch a modern film and the number of edits means you're dementedly applauding scenes that you can hardly make sense of.)

Visually the film was stunning, but what probably made me happiest was that it had a plot worthy of the original, one that grew organically out of the first film and developed that already rich storyline. The only complaint I have is that someone had found Nigel Tufnel's sound system and turned it all the way up to 11. Some have complained about the running time, but, to be honest, I didn't find it a problem, which for an old man who suffers occasionally from lower back pain can only mean one thing: I'm getting younger and fitter. Either that or I was so captivated by the film I didn't notice how long I'd been sitting still.

Monday was interrupted by a visit to the dentist for a clean and a mouthful of some staining gel that turned my tongue blue. The usual advice was offered: floss more often. I have never got on with floss, but I quite like those little TePe pokey things with the little brushes although it can be a pain getting the right ones because one size definitely does not fit all – even the hygienist said I needed three different sizes. Try flossing with the wrong size TePe and you end up with a damaged brush that's only fit for the bin. Apparently Poundland do them cheaply (I'm guessing £1) so I'll have to investigate next time I'm in town.

Tuesday was family lunch day. Apart from having Hunter's Chicken and a good laugh, there's not much to say about it. We went for a walk with my sister's mental dogs, which completely failed to tire them out; they were still full of beans when we got back home. One of them is the very definition of "not a lap dog" and he seems to think that putting his back paws smack bang on your privates is endearing. He must do because he does it every time he climbs onto the chair.

More good news is that I had Wednesday and part of Thursday to work on my various essays and I now have 19 of them, out of which I'll select the contents for the first volume of Forgotten Authors. I'm aiming for about 50,000 words, which should make for a reasonable ebook that won't break the bank. I'm now wondering whether I should do a print version of the shorter books, which will put them within more people's price range. The full version of Fifty Forgotten Authors is going to be huge and I'm a bit worried about the price. So having a shorter, cheaper option might work in my favour.

Hopefully I'll have the selection nailed down by next week. Some old essays revamped (mostly beyond recognition), some new ones that you won't have seen before, and one or two stories along the way that I hope will amaze you. Some of these authors had fascinating lives.

Random scans for the week... this week it's running!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Commando issues 5063-5066

Brand new Commando issues are out today, featuring Motor Boat malaises, Commando bomb disposals, Heinkel hesitations and Ypres revenants all to test the mettle of our men at war!

5063: The Crew
What was better for a crew at war: the men to be specialists or jacks of all trades? That was the question that faced Lieutenant Frank Temple on his new Motor Boat. Surely to be the best at your job was key to success and survival, but, indeed, with so few men aboard if something happened how would they cope without an able replacement? So, when Frank decided to give his new men extra training for the different positions he thought he was doing the right thing, but his crew weren’t very happy…
    With stylish accompanying art from Vicente Alcazar, Ferg Handley’s stiff-upper lip rivalry between Frank and his second in command Steve Hewitt is lovingly brought to life.

Story: Ferg Handley
Art: Vicente Alcazar
Cover: Janek Matysiak

5064: Spy Trap
Mission Brief: parachute into Germany to defuse a British bomb buried in the ruined interior of a feared Nazi prison and rescue to the British agent held inside. Time to detonation: twelve hours.
    Commando Lieutenant Phil Searle always stayed cool under pressure, that’s why he was so skilled at defusing enemy bombs and mines. So, naturally, he didn’t flinch when his C.O. volunteered him on a mission to defuse an unexploded bomb in a German prison, or to rescue the British agent held there. But what did throw Phil was his partner on this mission, Helmut Malke, a Jerry with a habit of disappearing right before trouble started…
    With Gentry’s combination of big personalities, ‘Spy Trap’s tension is just as high-octane, with enemies around every corner in Bielsa’s detailed artwork and guns aimed right on our hero in Penalva’s bold cover.

Story: Gentry
Art: Bielsa
Cover: Penalva
Originally Commando No 396 (April 1969) Reprinted No 1147 (1977)

5065: Wings of Woe
Flying from a young age with hopes of becoming a pilot, our hero is instead assigned as a bomb aimer and navigator, but strives to rise in the ranks and take control of his aircraft.  His name is Jurgen Loden and he flies in a Heinkel...
    Desperate to live up to his older brother and idol, a German fighter pilot in the First World War, Jurgen wants nothing more than to defend his country, but when he sees the destruction his bombs inflict he begins to question the Nazi cause.
    A compelling perspective from George Low, with detailed artwork by Rezzonico and a suitably stunning aerial cover from Ian Kennedy, ‘Wings of Woe’ is a stand out issue for any collection.

Story: George Low
Art: Rezzonico
Cover: Ian Kennedy

5066: Dead Men’s Revenge
Lying under rubble from a fallen building, Nick Gray’s life was slowly draining. That’s when he saw them. Hazy wraiths in uniforms from the last great war. They were at Ypres, they told him. Betrayed by their C.O. they were court martialled and executed on the ground Nick’s broken body lies on. “It’s not your time,” they tell him. Nick must complete the task given to him by these revenants if they are ever to be at peace…
    A dark number from Ian Clark, ‘Dead Men’s Revenge’ deals with sacrifice and the young men of World War Two being haunted by the heroics of the past generation which they must live up to. Combine that with artwork and cover by Ibanez and this eerie issue really packs an equally supernatural and poignant punch.

Story: Ian Clark
Art: Ibanez
Cover: Ibanez
Originally Commando No 2647 (March 1993)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 18-19 October 2017.

2000AD 2053
 Cover: Bill Willsher
JUDGE DREDD: ADAPTIVE OPTICS by Arthur Wyatt (w) Simon Roy (a), Annie Parkhouse (l)
GREY AREA: HOMELAND SECURITY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME: A DYING ART by Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernan Trevallion (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Judge Dredd Megazine 389
Cover: Nick Percival
JUDGE DREDD: DEFROSTED by Rory McConville (w) Paul Davidson (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
ANDERSON: NWO by Alan Grant (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Boland (l)
DEVLIN WAUGH: BLOOD DEBT by Rory McConville (w) Mike Dowling (a) Simon Bowland (l)
LAWLESS: BREAKING BADROCK by Dan Abnett (w) Len O'Grady (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
DOMINION by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Scream! & Misty Special
Cover: Henry Flint
THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR by Guy Adams (w) John Stokes, Frazer Irving (a) Simon Bowland (l)
THE DRACULA FILE by Grainne McEntee (w) Tristan Jones (a) SG (l)
DEATH-MAN: THE GATHERING by Feek (w) Henry Flint (a) SG (l)
BLACK MAX by Kek-W (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Jim Campbell (l)
RETURN OF THE SENTINELS by Hannah Berry (w) Ben Willsher (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
FATE OF THE FAIRY HUNTER by Alec Worley (w) DaNi (a) Maz Smith (l)
Pin-ups by Warwick Fraser-Coombe and Mike Hoffman

The Dracula File by Gerry Finley-Day, Simon Furman & Eric Bradbury
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08599-8, 19 October 2017, 101pp, £15.99 / $19.99. Available via Amazon.
Fleeing vampire hunters from behind the iron Curtain, Count Dracula returns to Great Britain with an unquenchable thirst for blood! Unable to accept that the supernatural defector has slipped through his fingers, Rumanian KGB officer Stakis decides to defy his disbelieving superiors and destroy the unholy horror that has plagued the world for centuries. Will 1980s London become the Count’s permanent, new feeding ground? Written by 2000 AD stalwart Gerry Finley-Day and featuring Eric Bradbury’s nightmarish vision of horror’s greatest icon, The Dracula File is a book that you can really sink your teeth into!

Scarlet Traces Volume Two by Ian Edginton & D'Israeli
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08561-5, 19 October 2017, 226pp, £17.99 / $23.99. Available via Amazon.
The brand new series of Scarlet Traces continues the story of HG Wells' classic SF The War Of The Worlds, taking the story back to Mars... Thanks to the technology left behind by the Martians and salvaged by the survivors, the British Empire has become a dominating world power once again, and has taken the fight back to the Martians! But an aging Robert Autumn knows there is more to this war than the propganda suggests. He sends journalist Charlotte Hemmingway undercover to Mars in order to discover the truth. What she discovers there is truly earth-shattering...This volume contains the very latest series of Scarlet Traces, which has never been collected before.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Dracula File (Rebellion)

Fondly remembered, Scream!! is one of those comics that never lived up to its potential, even in the fifteen issues it was allowed. Looking back on it, you wonder how anyone could have been satisfied with the results. On one side you had editors who were in direct touch with their audience who should have been trusted to know where to draw the line; on the other side the controlling group who worried about complaints from parents and the tabloids which would spook newsagents and damage sales.

In the case of Scream!!, by the time the latter had gutted the paper put together by the former, you had a tepid, middle-of-the-road action comic with only a few chills left in it.

This is not to say that everything about it was forgettable. Some very good writers and artists put their talents to work and, within the restrictions placed on them, came up with some compelling and interesting takes on some horror staples. Rebellion have already reprinted Monster from its pages, and for their second bite of Scream!! they have chosen The Dracula File.

Author Gerry Finley-Day brought the classic vampire character right up to date (1984), beginning with a defection from East Germany, a curiously ageless patient, a fire in a military hospital ahead of the patient from behind the Iron Curtain being relocated to the UK by British Intelligence... and all this in the first episode! As with any British comic—where moving the plot along trumps coincidence at every turn—the pretending-to-be-unconscious defector is a vampire and MI5 are taking him to precisely where he wants to go, a creepy mansion in the English countryside.

The only people to realise that a vampire is loose in England are the Russians, led by KGB officer Colonel Stakis, a Roumanian. Stakis's obsession with monitoring the situation leads to him attacking a Commissar and his commanding general when they try to stop his unofficial investigation. The disgraced officer then makes his way to the UK in search of Dracula.

The second half of the story was written by Simon Furman, nowadays better known for his work on Transformers and as the creator of Death's Head but then a newcomer to comics. Furman treated the scripts with a little more humour as Stakis searches London for his prey and Dracula preys on Londoners. It's a shame that the story ended rather suddenly with Scream!!'s demise, although David McDonald has made an interesting case a few years ago that the story from Scream!! Holiday Special 1986 is one of three of the stories completed but unpublished.

The volume includes all four Holiday Special stories (drawn by Bradbury, Geoff Senior and Keith Page), a cover gallery and a feature by David McDonald about Fleetway Publications' troubled relationship with horror comics over the years. McDonald reprinted the same stories in The Dracula File from Hibernia in 2015, but in limited numbers. Hopefully the new volume, with its larger pages showing off Eric Bradbury's amazing artwork to even better effect, will reach Scream!!'s old fans and a new audience alike this Halloween.

The Dracula Files. Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08599-8, 19 October 2017, 101pp, £15.99 / $19.99. Available via Amazon.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Alan Moore at Colchester Arts Centre

Alan Moore came to Colchester on 25 September. Here are a few snippets from that evening...

Here's some further information from the "Never Knowingly Understood" event...


Saturday, October 14, 2017

C J Staniland

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

C. J. Staniland was a prolific and highly respected artist equally at home illustrating children’s novels as he was painting still lifes, historical scenes, seascapes and portraits.

He was born on 19 June 1838 in Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, and christened Charles Joseph Staniland. His father, Joseph (1803-1858) was a commission agent, who had married Jane Elizabeth Goddard (1806-1876) in Brimpton, Berkshire, in 1834. They had three other children: Emily (born in 1835), Ellen (1837), and Alice (1840).

In the 1840s the family moved south, being recorded in the 1851 census at 21 Portland Place, Kingston, Surrey. Charles went on to study at the Birmingham School of Art, followed by a stint at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London, the National Art Training School in South Kensington, and finally at the Royal Academy, which he entered in 1861. At that time, he was living as a lodger at 8 Priory Road, Lambeth, with the census recording him as a lithographic artist.

On 15 September 1868 he married Elizabeth Parsons Buckman (born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1844, the daughter of Edwin Buckman, an ironmonger) at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Edgbaston, Birmingham. They went on to have five children: Charles (born in 1870), Ellen (1874), Maud (1874), Catherine (1878) and Eric (1880).

By then Staniland had fully established himself as a professional artist. He had moved to Hogarth Cottage, Chiswick, in 1871, where he was able to afford a monthly nurse for his son Charles and a domestic servant. He was elected an associate of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 1875, and a full member in 1879, and a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1883. (He resigned from both organisations in 1890 and 1896 respectively). By 1881, he had moved to 15 Steeles Road, Hampstead, a substantial house which meant he could also accommodate Rosa Wells, a Governess, and her husband Josiah, a fellow artist, and two servants. This remained his home for 15 years, until he moved to Chingford, Essex, in 1894, firstly living at Black Nest, The Drive, and then at 3 Hawkwood Villas, King’s Head Hill (1901 census).

As a painter, he exhibited widely, including at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists, the Fine Art Society, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Birmingham’s Royal Society of Artists, and the Royal Manchester Institution. As an illustrator, he worked for a wide range of periodicals and book publishers. His work began appearing regularly in The Quiver in 1866, and in that same year he contributed to the first number of Belgravia, founded by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. A year later, he began contributing to Cassell’s Magazine. In 1869 he began a long association with The Graphic, a weekly illustrated newspaper which quickly became famous for the quality of its artwork, and later joined the paper’s staff.

He went on to provide illustrations to periodicals such as Golden Hours, The Illustrated London News (for which he also joined the staff), London Society, Aunt Judy’s Magazine, The British Workman, The English Illustrated Magazine, The Pall Mall Gazette, The Boy’s Own Paper, Chums, The Strand Magazine, Wide World Magazine, Longman’s Magazine, A1 Magazine, Short Stories, The Daily Graphic, Pearson’s Magazine, Atalanta, The Children’s Friend, Good Words, and Harper’s Weekly. He was, for a time, a contributor of articles on cycling to The Graphic, using the pseudonym “The Skipper,” and he also wrote the occasional article, for example on the lifeboat service, for The Boy’s Own Paper. In 1896 he began contributing to a new and revised edition of the weekly part-work Cassell’s Illustrated History of England.

As an illustrator of children’s books, he worked in a range of genres  –  historical fiction (for example illustrating novels by G.A. Henty, W.H.G. Kingston, George Manville Fenn and Harry Collingwood), school stories (novels by Ascott R. Hope), religious works, family and domestic stories, and stories of the sea. He was used by a variety of publishers, including William P. Nimmo, Griffith & Farran, the Religious Tract Society, Blackie & Son and S.W. Partridge, although he was most prolific with the National Society’s Depository, the publishing arm of The National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church. He also had illustrations in annuals such as The Little People’s Budget and Yule Logs.

Staniland seems to have retired from painting and illustrating in the early 1900s. At the time of the 1911 census, he was living at 1 Millfield Villas, Fleet, Hampshire, with his daughter Catherine. His wife was living with her daughter Ellen’s family (she had married Charles Cousins, an assurance clerk, in Dulwich. He died five years later, at Acock’s Green, Birmingham, in June 1916, apparently without leaving a will. His wife died in Edmonton, London, in March 1920.


Books illustrated by C.J. Staniland
Stories of School Life by Ascott R. Hope, William P. Nimmo, 1868
Daisy and Her Friends by Frances Freeling Broderip, F. Warne & Co., 1869
The Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Alexander Hislop, 1869 (with other artists)
The Gate of Pearl by Chauncey Giles, Alexander Hislop & Co., 1870
The Magic Shoes and Other Stories by Chauncey Giles, Hislop & Co., 1870
Labours of Love: A Tale for the Young by Winifred Taylor, William P. Nimmo, 1870
Old Andy’s Money, an Irish Story, and Other Tales by (Anon.), Johnstone, Hunter & Co., 1870
Lame Allan, or Cast They Burden on the Lord by Mrs Scott, William Oliphant & Co., 1871
Scrambles Among the Alps in the Years 1860-69 by Edward Whymper, John Murray, 1871
A Keepsake for the Young: A Book of Amusement by Aunt Friendly, Frederick Warne & Co., 1871
Lyrics of Ancient History: Poetical and Pictorial Illustrations of Old Testament History by (Anon.), Religious Tract Society, 1873
Max Wild, the Merchant’s Son, and Other Stories for the Young by Franz Hoffman, William P. Nimmo, 1874
Sunday Chats with Sensible Children by Clara L. Mateaux, Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1874
The Gentleman Cadet: His Career and Adventures at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich by Alfred W. Drayson, Griffith & Farran, 1875
Sword and Pen, or English Worthies in the Reign of Elizabeth by W.H. Davenport Adams, William P. Nimmo, 1875
Willie Smith’s Money Box by (Anon.), Religious Tract Society, 1876
Picturesque Europe, with Illustrations on Steel and Wood by the Most Eminent Artists, Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co., 1876  – in monthly parts (with other artists)
The Three Admirals, and the Adventures of their Young Followers by W.H.G. Kingston, Griffith Farran & Co., 1877
Bible Jewels by Richard Newton, William P. Nimmo, 1877
The Land of the Mammoth, or A Boy’s Arctic Adventures Three Hundred Years Ago by Thomas Frost, Religious Tract Society, 1877
George’s Enemies by Ascott R. Hope, William P. Nimmo, 1876
St. Helen’s Well by Mary H. Debenham, National Society’s Depository, 1880
The Changing Year by various authors, Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1882
Thomas Wingfold, Curate by George Macdonald, Chatto & Windus, 1883 (re-issue)
The Forging of the Anchor: A Poem by Sir Samuel Ferguson, Cassell & Co., 1883
Menhardoc: A Story of Cornish Nets and Mines by George Manville Fenn, Blackie & Son, 1884
The Fate of Castle Löwengard: A Story of the Days of Luther by Esmè Stuart, Suttaby & Co., 1884
The Pirate Island: A Story of the South Pacific by Harry Collingwood, Blackie & Son, 1885
Traitor or Patriot? A Tale of the Rye House Plot by Mary C. Rowsell, Blackie & Son, 1885
Gytha’s Message: A Tale of Saxon England by Emma Leslie, Blackie & Son, 1885
The Dragon and the Raven, or The Days of King Alfred by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1886
The Pirate, and The Three Cutters by Frederick Marryat, George Routledge & Sons, 1886
Schoolboy Stories by Ascott R. Hope, William P. Nimmo, 1887
Freedom’s Sword: A Tale of the Days of Wallace and Bruce by Annie S. Swan, Cassell & Co., 1887
Locked Up by Arthur Griffiths, William Blackwood & Sons, 1887
A Child of the Revolution: A Novel by (Anon.), Harper & Bros. (New York), 1887
Nor’ard of the Dogger, or Deep Sea Trials and Gospel Triumphs by E.J. Mather, James Nisbet & Co., 1887
Starwood Hall: A Boy’s Adventure by Frederick C. Badrick, National Society’s Depository, 1888
Robert Aske: A Story of the Reformation by E.F. Pollard, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1888
Silver Star Valley by M. Bramston, National Society’s Depository, 1888
Morning and Evening by John Keble, Religious Tract Society, 1888
Reuben Everett, or When Old Things Were New by Christabel R. Coleridge, National Society’s Depository, 1888
Our New Mistress, or Changes at Brookfield Earl by Charlotte M. Yonge, National Society’s Depository, 1888
Mrs Dimsdale’s Grandchildren by M. Lee & Catherine Lee, National Society’s Depository, 1888
To Horse and Away by Frances Mary Peard, National Society’s Depository, 1888
English Pictures Drawn with Pen and pencil, Religious Tract Society, 1889
In the Days of Luther, or The Fate of Castle Löwengard by Esmè Stuart, Swann Sonnenschein, 1890
The Green Girls of Greythorpe by Christabel R. Coleridge, National Society’s Depository, 1890
A Pair of Cousins by M. Bramston, National Society’s Depository, 1890
Distressed Ireland: A Series of Illustrated Letters by Thomas Wallace Russell, Daily Graphic, 1890
The Slaves of Sabinus: Jew and Gentile by Charlotte M. Yonge, National Society’s Depository, 1890
Romance of Real Life: True Incidents in the Live4s of the Great and Good by Robert Barnes, Religious Tract Society, 1890
A Ride to Picture Land: A Book of Joys for Boys and Girls, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1890
Maud Florence Nellie, or Don’t Care! By Christabel R. Coleridge, National Society’s Depository, 1890
What Cheer O? The Story of the Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen by Alexander Gordon, James Nisbet & Co., 1890
Glaucia, the Greek Slave by Emma Leslie, Religious Tract Society, 1892
The Two Ellens by A.E. Deane, National Society’s Depository, 1892
Blue Jackets, or The Log of the Teaser by George Manville Fenn, Griffith, Farran & Co., 1893
Stephanie’s Children by Margaret Roberts, National Society’s Depository, 1893
Robin’s Trust, and Other Stories by Edith A. Gibbs, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1894
Their Father’s Wrong by M. Bramston, National Society’s Depository, 1895
Christmas at the Beacon by Ellen Palmer, Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell, 1895
The Art Bible, George Newnes, 1895 (in monthly parts) (with other artists)
The Young Carthaginian, or A Struggle for Empire by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1896
Dorothy’s Stepmother by Penelope Leslie, National Society’s Depository, 1896
A Wonderful Christmas and Other Stories by Katherine E. Vernham, National Society’s Depository, 1896
Cast Ashore by Esmé Stuart, National Society’s Depository, 1896
The Puff of Wind by Frederick C. Badrick, National Society’s Depository, 1896
A Friendly Girl by Catherine Slater, National Society’s Depository, 1896
Cassell’s Illustrated History of England, Cassell & Co., 1896 (in weekly parts) (with other artists)
Happy Children by (Anon.), Donohue, Henneberry & Co., (Chicago), 1897
The Tuckers’ Turkey, and Other Stories by Katherine E. Vernham, National Society’s Depository, 1898
Gwen by Penelope Leslie. National Society’s Depository, 1898
Told by Two by M. Bramston, National Society’s Depository, 1898
A Puritan’s Wooing: A Tale of the Great Awakening in New England by Frank Samuel Child, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1899
Bugle Minor of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines by M. Bramston, National Society’s Depository, 1899
Brave Deeds of Youthful Heroes by various authors, Religious Tract Society, 1899
Reine’s Kingdom by L.E. Tiddeman, National Society’s Depository, 1899
The Stone Door by Frederick C. Badrick, National Society’s Depository, 1899
The Lifeboat: Its History and Heroes by F.M. Holmes, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1900
Jonathan Toms by Annie Victoria Dutton, National Society’s Depository, 1900
A Mystery of the Sea by Herbert Hayens, Collins, 1900
Lettice Temple: A Story of the Days of Bishop Ken by Maud Vevers, National Society’s Depository, 1900
Twice Lost by W.H.G. Kingston, T. Nelson & Sons, 1900(?)
Deborah’s Dressing and Other Stories by Katherine Elizabeth Vernham, National Society’s Depository, 1901
Riverslea by G. Norway, National Society’s Depository, 1901
Britannia’s Bulwarks: The Achievements of our Seamen, the Honours of Our Ships by Charles Napier Robinson, George Newnes, 1901 (in weekly parts) (with other artists)
Living London, Cassell & Co., 1902 (in weekly parts) (with other artists)
The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, Collins, 1903 (re-issue)
The Poetical Works of John Milton, Collins, 1904(?)
Kenilworth by Walter Scott, Collins, 1906 (re-issue)
Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Collins, 1919

Friday, October 13, 2017

Comic Cuts - 13 October 2017

I must be barking mad... but I've agreed to do another boot fair with my equally daft, but clearly persuasive, sister. It is going to be a busy weekend as Mel and I have tickets to see Jeremy Hardy at the Arts Centre on Saturday night and we want to fit in a trip to the cinema to see Bladerunner 2049 as soon as we can, although trying to find a free evening for it with our friends is proving to be as easy as nailing smoke to a ceiling.

It will be a nice (?) break from sitting in front of the computer. I'm maintaining my 1,000 words a day on the Fifty Famous Authors book. I've worked on a pair of related essays for the past couple of weeks which are at long last almost complete. One is finished and the other is waiting on some information that won't be arriving until next week. In the meantime, I've dived into another piece, this one a lot shorter, which will probably be part of batch two of essays... but it made for a change of pace after two weeks wallowing in the same subjects.

So we have an addition for the totalizer after a couple of weeks  of zero movement. The word count is now 69,816 spread over 16 essays, so they're averaging around 4,350 words... which at a 1,000 words a day means I'm writing one every four days. I need to pick up the pace a little, or I won't be hitting fifty completed essays for some time. I am, however, almost ready to process the first batch of essays in order to put out the first volume of the e-book version of this project. The plan is for these to be around 50-60,000 word collections, somewhere between a quarter and a third the size of the print version.

How long I can keep up the pace without becoming distracted by the TV is another problem I'm going to be facing. There's a lot of shows appearing that I want to watch, and keeping up with them could take over my life, if I let it. Were currently only watching a handful of shows on UK terrestrial channels, many of them only recently back on our screens – The Last Leg, Have I Got News For You, Upstart Crow, W1A – while Freeview is providing us with our favourite, Taskmaster (which I cannot recommend highly enough... if you can get Dave, give it a try). We've recorded the latest Scandi-noir drama (Black Lake) and one of the crime dramas on the BBC (Rellik), which we'll catch up with shortly and we're watching only one other drama each week: Channel 4's fantastic Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. The episodes to date have been fantastic and hopefully one in the eye for people who still insist that science fiction is all rockets and ray guns. Its good to see this arrive hot on the heels of The Handmaid's Tale – hopefully Electric Dreams will do well enough for the people who control the schedules to see that decent science fiction can find an audience.

The above I can cope with, even with the addition of QI and a couple of other shows that are starting up next week. It's the mad rush of shows coming out of the US that's the problem. We've been watching Star Trek: Discovery, The Orville (a Trek parody) and Marvel's The Inhumans for the past couple of weeks. But "Après nous, le déluge," as the French say: The Gifted, Gotham, Designated Survivor and Lucifer have already started and this week alone has seen the new season debuts of Mr. Robot, Supergirl, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow with Mindhunter and Dirk Gently arriving tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

I think I am now officially attempting to watch too many shows. I still have a bunch of shows that I haven't gotten around to watching, including most of the previous season of Arrow and I've just started watching the first season of Designated Survivor. Only a year late!

Today's random scans were selected by doing a search for "bat" in my cover scans folder and then trying to pair up some of the results.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 11 October 2017.

2000AD 2052
Cover: Mark Harrison
JUDGE DREDD: ICON by TC Eglinton (w) Colin MacNeil (a), Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
GREY AREA: HOMELAND SECURITY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME: A DYING ART by John Smith, Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SINISTER DEXTER: THE DEVIL & ALL HIS WHACKS by Dan Abnett (w) Jake Lynch (a) John Charles (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

Monday, October 09, 2017

Space Ace volume 9

There are more classic Fifties space adventures in the latest issue of Space Ace, which packs three tales into its 40 pages. Or, looked at another way, five tales, as the lead story for this issue is a combination, cleverly edited, of three otherwise unremarkable stories that make a far better yarn together than they did on their original appearance in 1957-58.

As editor John Lawrence explains, Ron Turner didn't always have a smooth ride when it came to producing his Space Ace tales for Lone Star Magazine and tight deadlines sometimes meant he was rushed, or the stories were repetitive. With a deft bit of editing and the addition of John Ridgway's gorgeous colour, 'Space Ace and the Fire Ship' is bulked out from its original appearance when, Lawrence explains, it had a good beginning, a good ending but sagged in the middle, into a story that now jets along at FTL speed as Ace and Bill try to resolve a situation that could turn the Earth into a cinder.

A fire creature from Sirius lands in the Arizona desert, the land around him dissolving in the extreme heat. Ace is tasked with obtaining a crystal from the Arcturians that will allow the fire creatures to power their ship away from Earth before a chain reaction causes a fatal planet-wide explosion.

And we're off... on an intergalactic adventure that sees Ace arrive on the planet Formondia, only to find the Arcturians are flooding it for their own aquatic needs. The continents are disappearing and the locals risk suffocation as the hydrogen and oxygen required to create water are being taken from the atmosphere.

To reveal more would spoil the plot. Let's just say that their trip back to Earth isn't without incident.

Two seven-page back-up strips complete the issue. 'Space Ace & the Weed of Death' finds Ace and Bill arriving on a planet where the population has been forced into living in a flying city because of a man-eating (or, in this case, Zigor-eating) plant that has smothered the land below. 'Space Ace & the Plunderers', meanwhile, begins with the evacuation of a planet of the Raxor system which has become riven by earthquakes and sudden volcanic activity – as have three others in the same system. The United Planets Organisation are not convinced that the disturbances are natural and Ace and Bill are sent to investigate. It's not a plot spoiler to say that the UPO is right and soon discover a strange alien craft burrowing into a neighbouring planet.

John has penned a companion piece that traces the early history of Space Ace in the pages of Lone Star Magazine, which will continue next issue.

You can get hold of this latest volume for £8.95 (UK) or £12.50 (Europe) and £14.50 (International) including p&p — and that's pretty much at cost, I can assure you — with payments through Paypal via spaceace.54 AT or by cheque or postal order to John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Beds. LU5 4RB

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Comic Books Hero by Barrie Tomlinson

This is Barrie Tomlinson's second book of reminiscences of his time working in comics. The first volume concentrated almost wholly on the character Roy of the Rovers (reviewed here), while this new book covers much broader ground, from his early days on Lion and Tiger to his managing editor days overseeing Eagle, Wildcat and a whole slew of other titles.

Along the way he introduces some of his co-workers, writers, artists and celebrities that he attracted to the various titles for publicity purposes. The sports titles especially made good use of celebrity contributors, from Geoff Boycott to Suzanne Dando and Tomlinson relates how he approached the likes of Gordon Banks to write for Tiger. Banks was an early winner of the Tiger Sports Star of the Year, which included such luminaries as Jackie Stewart, David Steele, James Hunt, Geoffrey Boycott, Peter Shilton and Sebastian Coe. Other correspondents for Tiger included Boycott, Ian Bothan, David Gower and even magician Paul Daniels.

Many of the titles are visited only briefly, although there are some interesting tales along the way, such as the creation of Storm Force to replace Action Force as the centrepiece of Battle-Action, the Speed treasure hunt, the birth of the New Eagle comic, the surge of licensed comics in the 1980s and the story behind the Anti Trombone League.

As with the earlier book, this one is packed out with photographs from across the years. The endless parade of sports personalities was a key feature to the success of Tiger and Roy of the Rovers, but its the occasional photo of comics' own personalities that I enjoyed more. There's even a photo of Mike Western, tucked away behind a crowd of children at an exhibition.

Comic Book Hero by Barrie Tomlinson. Pitch Publishing. ISBN 978-1785-3132409, 1 September 2017, 224pp, £14.99. Available from Amazon.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

W H Margetson

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

Many of what might be called “minor” illustrators of children’s books were also highly-skilled and respected artists, exhibiting and selling paintings in a wide rage of genres, and becoming members of bodies such as the Royal Academy of Arts. One of the better-known of these was W. H. Margetson, a fairly prolific illustrator of children’s books, largely between around 1890 and 1910, and as a painter particularly well-known for his full-length studies of young women. He also painted other subjects, and exhibited widely, as well as contributing illustrations to a large number of magazines.

He was born on 1 December 1861 at 21 Grove Hill Terrace, Camberwell, and christened William Henry Margetson. His family background was comparatively wealthy. His father, Edward Margetson (1834-1885, born in Yorkshire and the son of a tea dealer and draper) was, by the age of 16, a merchant’s clerk, initially in Yorkshire before he moved to Camberwell where, in 1861, he was living with his wife Eleanor (née Bradshaw, the daughter of an engraver, whom he had married in Manchester in 1858), and his first son Edward John (born in 1860), and employing two domestic servants. In 1871, he was working as a commission agent, employing three servants, and in 1881 he was described as an Export Merchant, living at 210 The Grove, Camberwell. He died in April 1885, leaving an estate valued at £4,663 (just under £500,000 in today’s terms).

William Henry Margetson’s early education was at Miss Pace’s School in Camberwell Grove (where the later-politician and statesman Joseph Chamberlain had spent a year in the early 1840s). In September 1872 he entered Dulwich College, joining his elder brother Edward who had entered Dulwich in March 1871. He left in April 1877, going to the National Art Training School in South Kensington (perhaps better-known as the Kensington Schools, and later the Royal College of Art), and then on to the Royal Academy Schools, where he won the first of several prizes in August 1878. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy itself in 1885. He went on to teach drawing at the Central School of Arts and Crafts after its formation in 1896.

By then he had established himself as an illustrator, beginning in 1885 when he collaborated with Joseph Hatton and his daughter Helen, who had also studied at the Royal Academy Schools, on a piece in The English Illustrated Magazine based on the diaries of Hatton’s son Frank, an explorer and geologist who had died in 1883 in an accidental shooting in Borneo. (These were subsequently published in North Borneo: Explorations and Adventures on the Equator, published by Sampson Low).  Joseph Hatton (1841-1907) was journalist and novelist, born in Bristol and who had edited The Bristol Mirror in the mid-1860s before moving to London to edit The Gentleman’s Magazine. He went on to become a prolific novelist, essayist, playwright and editor of other newspapers and journals. W. H. Margetson illustrated at least five of his books and pamphlets.

Having got to know Helen Hatton (born Helen Howard Hatton in Bristol in March 1859) Margetson married her on 20 June 1889, at St. Mark’s church, St. Marylebone. He was then living at I Leonard Place, Circus Road, St. John’s Wood. Within a year the couple had moved to 7 St. Anne’s Terrace, St. Marylebone, where, with their first daughter Hester Dorothy (born in 1890) they were boarding with George Gravatt, a butler, and his wife. Ten years later the Margetsons, having had two more children  –  Oliver, born in 1892, and Beryl, born in 1899  –  were living at 107 Thornland Road, Lambeth, and able to employ two servants.

As an illustrator, he contributed to a wide range of magazines and periodicals, including Cassell’s Magazine, Cassell’s Saturday Journal, The Art Journal, Pall Mall Magazine, The Quiver, Sylvia’s Home Journal, Little Folks, The Graphic, Black and White, Sunday at Home, The Windsor Magazine, The Lady’s Pictorial, The Girls’ Realm, The Harmsworth Magazine, The Queen, The Sphere, Woman at Home, The Idler, The Penny Magazine, The Tatler and The Strand.

He also supplied illustrations for various part-works issued by Cassell & Co., including Cassell’s Illustrated History of England, Cassell’s Stories of the Sea, and The Child’s Bible (for which he produced 100 plates, 12 of them published in colour).

In May 1889 Margetson exhibited a portrait of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth at the Grosvenor Gallery, Bond Street. This was bought by the actor Henry Irving, who then commissioned Margetson to design the dresses for a revival of Watts Phillips’s 1859  drama The Dead Heart, being staged by Irving at the Lyceum Theatre. At the same time, Margetson had been asked to provide illustrations for the sixth volume in what had become known as The Henry Irving Shakespeare, the complete works published by the Gresham Publishing Company. He was soon in demand as an illustrator, particularly of boys’ historical stories and fairy stories. For boys, he illustrated four first editions of novels by G.A. Henty between 1893 and 1898, along with books by Robert Overton, Charles W. Whistler, Herbert Hayens, Harold Avery and Evelyn Everett-Green. His first fairy illustrations appeared in The Village of Youth and Other Fairy Tales, published by Hutchinson & Co. in 1896 and written by Bessie Hatton, his wife’s sister. He went on to provide illustrations for novels by Max Pemberton, William Le Queux, Stanley J. Weyman, Joseph Hocking, Samuel R. Crockett and A.E.W. Mason. He also provided religious illustrations in books such as Cole’s Book of Bible Stories, My Bible Pictures and Stories and, published after his death, Pictures of Jesus. He tended to sign his illustrations with his initials, while using his full name (in capital letters) for his paintings.

After the First World War he concentrated on painting, contributing illustrations to only a handful of books. His main focus was figure paining, and he became noted for his large paintings of beautiful young women (painted in both oils and watercolours)  ¬  these progressed from a post-pre-Raphaelite sentimentalism to a more loose style approaching post-impressionism. He also exhibited religious, classical and literary works. One of his best-known paintings, The Sea hath its Pearls, painted in 1897 and exhibited at the Royal Academy, was bought by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, while the National Portrait Gallery has his 1891 portrait of Alfred Tennyson, and his religious work St. Mary at the Loom is owned by the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.

Margetson had been a member of the Ipswich Art Club between 1886 and 1891, and was elected to the Royal Society of Miniature painters in 1896, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1901, and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1909.

In the meantime, he and his family had moved to The Homestead, Blewbury, Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire) in 1902. At the time of the 1911 census, Hester Margetson was an art student, and Oliver Margetson was an engineering student. Hester went on to marry Jack Seaforth Elton Martin-Harvey (better-known as the actor Martin Harvey – his one leading film role was that of the burglar Charles Peace in 1949) in 1927. As an artist, Hester’s earliest drawings were published in the children’s magazine St. Nicholas. She went on to specialize in twee paintings of young children, animals and fairies. She also formed a small touring ballet company, the Martin-Harvey Miniature Ballet, with her husband. She died in 1965.

William Henry Margetson died in 2 January 1940, at Priory Cottage, Wallingford, where he had lived for many years, leaving an estate valued at just £1,510 (around £75,000 in today’s terms). His wife died on 24 October 1955 at Goring-on-Thames.


Books Illustrated
North Borneo: Explorations and Adventures on the Equator by Joseph Hatton, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1885
The Lyceum “Faust” by Joseph Hatton, Virtue & Co., 1886
Captured by Cannibals: Some Incidents in the Life of Horace Durand by Joseph Hatton, Hodder & Stoughton, 1888
Reminiscences of J.L. Toole by Joseph Hatton, Hurst & Blackett, 1888
The Works of William Shakespeare, Gresham Publishing Co., 1889
“Hors de Combat”, or Three Weeks in a Hospital by Gertrude & Ethel Armytage Southam, Cassell & Co., 1891
How Pianos are Made by Joseph Hatton, John Brimsmead & Sons, 1892
Sunlight by Bret Harte, Lever Bros., 1892
John Gentleman, Tramp by Jessie A Norquay Forbes, Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1892
Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1893
A World Afloat: The Story of an Ocean Trip by Joseph Hatton, Raphael Tuck, 1893
Cigarette Papers for Holiday Smokers by Joseph Hatton, (30 Fleet Street), 1893
A Dozen All Told by W.E. Norris and others, Blackie & Son, 1894
The King’s Pardon, or The Boy who Saved his Father by Robert Overton, Jarrold & Sons, 1895
At A Piano Factory, John Brimsmead & Sons, 1895
The Tiger of Mysore by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1896
A Thane of Wessex: Being a Story of the Great Viking Raids into Somerset by Charles W. Whistler, Blackie & Son, 1896
The Lights of Sydney, or No Past is Dead by Lilian Turner, Cassell & Co., 1896
Deaf and Dumb Land by Joseph Hatton, The Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, 1896
The Village of Youth and Other Fairy Tales by Bessie Hatton, Hutchinson & Co., 1896
A History of the Scottish People, Rev. Thomas Thomson, Blackie & Son, 1896
With Cochrane the Dauntless by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1897
The British Legion: A Tale of the Carlist War by Herbert Hayens, T. Nelson & Sons, 1897
Wulfric the Weapon Thane: A Story of the Danish Conquest of East Anglia by Charles W. Whistler, Blackie & Son, 1897
King Olaf’s Kinsman by Charles W. Whistler, Blackie & Son, 1897
A Missing Witness by Frank Barrett, Chatto & Windus, 1897
The Beautiful Miss Brooke by Louis Zangwill, Raphael Tuck & Sons, 1897
The Dagger and the Cross by Joseph Hatton, Hutchinson & Co., 1897
A March on London: Being a Story of Wat Tyler’s Insurrection by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1898
A Tale of Two Rings by Samuel Gordon, Raphael Tuck Ltd., 1898
The Dormitory Flag by Harold Avery, T. Nelson & Sons, 1899
The Triple Alliance by Harold Avery, T. Nelson & Sons, 1899
Through Peril, Toil and Pain by Lucy Taylor, T. Nelson & Sons, 1899
King Alfred’s Viking by Charles W. Whistler, 1899
The Life of William Ewart Gladstone by Sir Wemyss Reid (ed.), Cassell & Co., 1899
Britain’s Sea Kings and Sea Fights by various authors, Cassell & Co., 1900
Havelock the Dane by Charles W. Whistler, T. Nelson & Sons, 1900
Trefoil: The Story of a Girls’ Society by M.P. MacDonald, T. Nelson & Sons, 1900
Sisters Three by Jessie Mansergh, Cassell & Co., 1900
Duance Pendray: A Story of Jacobite Times in Cornwall by G. Norway, Jarrold & Sons, 1901
For the Faith: A Story of Reformation Times in England by Evelyn Everett-Green, T. Nelson & Sons, 1902
Pilgrims of Love by Bessie Hatton, Anthony Treherne & Co., 1902
Cigarette Papers: With Some Notes for a Life of Sir Henry Irving by Joseph Hatton, Anthony Treherne & Co., 1902
A New Speaker for Our Little Folks by various authors, W.E. Scull, 1902
Fallen Fortunes: Being the Adventures of a Gentleman of Quality in the Days of Queen Anne, by Evelyn Everett-Green, T. Nelson & Sons, 1903
A Hero of the Highlands: A Story of the “45” by Evelyn Everett-Green, T. Nelson & Sons, 1903
Living London by George R. Sims (ed.), Cassell & Co., 1903
Red Morn by Max Pemberton, Cassell & Co., 1904
Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, W.E. Scull, 1904
A Flame of Fire: Being the Adventures of Three Englishmen in Spain by Joseph Hocking, Cassell & Co., 1904
Favourite Stories from Grimm by Edward Shirley, T. Nelson & Sons, 1904
The Spider’s Eye by William Le Queux, Cassell & Co., 1905
The Red Seal by Morice Gerard, Cassell & Co., 1906
The White Plumes of Navarre: A Romance of the Wars of Religion by Samuel R. Crockett, Religious Tract Society, 1906
King Olaf’s Kinsman: A Story of the Last Saxon Struggle against the Danes by Charles W. Whistler, Blackie & Son, 1907
Rob the Ranger: A Story of the Fight for Canada by Herbert Strang, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
The Old Nursery Stories by Edith Nesbit, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
The Escape of Desmond Burke by Herbert Strang, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
The Wild Geese by Stanley J. Weyman, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
Granny’s Wonderful Chair and its Tales of Fairy Times by Frances Brown, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
Happy Sunday Hours: A Story for Every Sunday in the Year, T. Nelson & Sons, 1908
Humphrey Bold: His Chances and Mischances by Land and Sea by Herbert Strang, Hodder & Stoughton, 1909
An Island Heroine by Bessie Marchant, Collins, 1909
A Day with the Poet Tennyson by May Byron, Hodder & Stoughton 1909
At the Villa Rose by A.E.W. Mason, Hodder & Stoughton, 1910
Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race by Maude I. Ebbutt, George G. Harrap & Co., 1910
Stories about Joseph and David by (Anon.), T. Nelson & Sons, 1910
Cole’s Book of Bible Stories by (Anon.), E.W. Cole, 1911
Out of the Wreck I Rise by Beatrice Harraden, T. Nelson & Sons, 1912
Legends of King Arthur and His Knights by Janet MacDonald Clarke, Ernest Nister, 1914
The Fairy Tale Book by various authors, T. Nelson & Sons, 1915
My First Fairy Book by Harry Rountree & others, T. Nelson & Sons, 1918(?)
Jesus of Nazareth: Stories of the Master and his Disciples by Agnes Adams, O.U.P., 1926
The Admiral’s Daughter by Margaret Stuart Lane, O.U.P., 1927
In a Nook with Nature by A. Patterson Webb (ed.), Robert Hayes, 1927
The Old Old Story, O.U.P., 1934
Come Unto Me, O.U.P., 1934
My Bible Pictures and Stories by Amy Steedman, T. Nelson & Sons, 1939
Pictures of Jesus, O.U.P., 1947
Kenilworth by Walter Scott, T. Nelson & Sons, (?)
Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories, T. Nelson & Sons, (?)
Fairy Tales, T. Nelson & Son, (?)