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Mabel Lucie Attwell - Illustrator

About the Illustrator

Born on 4 June 1879 to a large family in the East End of London, Mabel Lucie Attwell had a strict Victorian upbringing. Her father, a butcher, progressive thinker and homeopath, was eccentric and stern. She loved her parents and respected the perfection her father strove for, but her childhood lacked warmth, and her early drawings reflected her yearning for comfort and affection.

By the age of sixteen, Mabel Lucie had sold her first drawings and was able to fund her own further education. At Saint Martin’s Art School, she fell in love with the artist Harold Cecil Earnshaw, who later became her husband and the father of her adored three children. A huge commercial success in her lifetime, Mabel Lucie produced Christmas cards for the Royal Family (including a personalized one for Princess Margaret), illustrations for magazines such as Tatler, advertising campaigns for the London Underground and
artwork for several children’s classics. Her characters were produced on everything from tableware to textiles, postcards and figurines.

With her illustrations much in demand, she bought a house in Surrey, to which she and Harold moved in 1910. She invented The Boo-Boos during this time, an illustrated series about cheeky ‘do-good’ fairies,
whose tales she wrote herself. She was also commissioned to illustrate many children’s classics, including a beautiful edition of Alice in Wonderland, published in 1911, and an edition of Peter Pan and Wendy
in 1921, the latter at the specific request of the author J. M. Barrie. Throughout her life, Mabel Lucie was extremely hard-working, producing a huge body of work. She had a strong personality, was a stylish London socialite and was fiercely independent, though her heart always lay at home with her family. In 1937 her adored husband Harold died from the effects of his war wounds, aged only fifty-one, and she coped with her grief by working even harder, her popularity never dwindling.Mabel Lucie’s illustrations were used for postcards and advertising during both World Wars, her tongue-in-cheek captions encouraging the nation to ‘smile through the tears’.

Mabel Lucie Attwell died peacefully in Cornwall on 5 November 1964. Her illustrations are timeless and retain their familiarity and collectable appeal today.

Featured books by Mabel Lucie Attwell

Other books by Mabel Lucie Attwell

Peter Pan and Wendy

Peter Pan and Wendy

Author: J. M. Barrie Illustrator: Mabel Lucie Attwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

This edition of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy was originally retold by May Byron for little people, with the approval of the author. It is a thrilling adventure for all ages; the story of the boy who refuses to grow up is a tale that never gets old. It follows the Darling children - Wendy, John and Michael - who befriend the magical Peter and are whisked away to the Never-Land, where the villainous Captain Hook and the brave Lost Boys await. Mabel Lucie Attwell's gentle illustrations and distinctive style have been the nursery staple of generations of children. Her illustrated edition of May Byron's abridged Peter Pan and Wendy was first published in 1921. Macmillan is proud to return Mabel Lucie Attwell's interpretation to print. With a beautiful foiled cover, this edition features black-and-white line illustrations and makes the perfect gift for children, and adults who refuse to grow up.

The Water-Babies

The Water-Babies

Author: Charles Kingsley Illustrator: Mabel Lucie Attwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

When Tom, a young chimney sweep, falls into a river and drowns, he is transformed from a twelve-year-old boy who has known nothing but brutality and poverty into a 'water-baby'. In an underwater world surrounded by fairies, insects and water nymphs, he soon discovers a new life of adventure and excitement. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features glorious inside illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell.

Tir na Deo J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy in Irish

Tir na Deo J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy in Irish

Author: James Matthew Barrie Illustrator: Mabel Lucie Attwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2016

The Water-Babies

The Water-Babies

Author: Charles Kingsley Illustrator: Mabel Lucie Attwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/10/2015

When Tom, a young chimney sweep, falls into a river and drowns, he is transformed from a twelve-year-old boy who has known nothing but brutality and poverty into a 'water-baby'. In an underwater world surrounded by fairies, insects and water nymphs, he soon discovers a new life of adventure and excitement. Gloriously illustrated with 8 colours plates from Mabel Lucie Attwell, and with a ribbon marker and a specially commissioned foreword, this beautiful hardback Macmillan Classics edition of Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies, first published in 1863, is a truly special gift to treasure.

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