Introducing Victorian illustrators
This post will be the first in a series about the work of some of the artists featured in the current level 1 exhibit, Victorian Illustrators: from Sketch to Print. Today’s post highlights the two women illustrators from the exhibit.
The first, Kate Greenaway, is one of the most famous illustrators of 19th century children’s books, and is still beloved today for her illustrations of young children clothed in late 18th and early 19th century Regency dress. Besides the original Greenaway drawings on display in the exhibit, Special Collections has a large collection of Greenaway’s illustrated books, calendars, and cards, including a set of illustrated almanacs inscribed by Greenaway to the poet Frederick Locker-Lampson (several are shown at left).
The second, L. M. Budgen, is a virtual unknown who wrote and illustrated only a handful of books. Budgen is somewhat of a mystery. She wrote under the pseudonym “Acheta Domestica,” the Latin name for the house cricket. Budgen seems to have been primarily interested in illustrating the natural world; her first book, Episodes of Insect Life (shown at right), is admired for its fanciful yet detailed observations of insects from ants to butterflies. Budgen wrote several other books about nature, including the book Live Coals which is on display in the exhibit (Special Collections owns a partial manuscript and Budgen’s original drawings for the book).