Arthur Rackham, 1867-1939

Biographical note

Arthur Rackham is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the 'Golden Age' of British book illustration which encompassed the years from 1900 until the start of the First World War. During that period, there was a strong market for high quality, illustrated books that typically were given as Christmas gifts. Many of Rackham's books were produced in a de luxe limited edition, often vellum bound and sometimes signed, as well as a larger, less ornately bound quarto 'trade' edition. This was often followed by a more modestly presented octavo edition in subsequent years for particularly popular books. The onset of the war in 1914 curtailed the market for such quality books, and the public's taste for fantasy and fairies also declined in the 1920s.

Works illustrated by Arthur Rackham


  • The Zankiwank and the Bletherwitch by Shafto Justin Adair Fitzgerald (40 line, 1896)
  • Two Old Ladies, Two Foolish Fairies, and a Tom Cat by Maggie Browne (pseud. Margaret Hamer) (4 colour plates, 19 line, 1897)
  • Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (95 line, 1900, reworked edition 40 colour plates, 62 line, 1909)
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (11 line 1900, reworked edition 12 colour plates, 34 line, 1909)
  • Rip van Winkle by Washington Irving (51 colour plates, 3 line, 1905)
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (13 colour plates, 15 line 1907)
  • The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby (pseud. Richard Harris Barham) (12 colour, 80 line 1898, reworked edition 23 colour plates, 73 line 1907)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (40 colour plates, 34 line, 1908)
  • Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1909)
  • Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (15 colour plates, 41 line, 1909)
  • The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie by Richard Wagner(34 colour plates, 8 line, 1910)
  • Siegfried and The Twilight of the Gods by Richard Wagner (32 colour plates, 8 line, 1911)
  • Aesop's Fables by Aesop (13 colour plates, 82 line, 1912)
  • Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M.Barrie (50 colour plates, 3 line, 1906, new edition 50 colour plates, 12 line, 1912)
  • Mother Goose (13 colour plates, 78 line 1913)
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (12 colour plates, 1915)
  • The Allies Fairy Book (12 colour plates, 23 line 1916)
  • Little Brother and Little Sister by The Brothers Grimm (13 colour plates, 45 line 1917)
  • The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Alfred W. Pollard (23 colour and monotone plates, 16 line, 1917)
  • English Fairy Tales by Flora Annie Steel (16 colour plates, 43 line, 1918)
  • The Springtide of Life by Algernon Charles Swinburne (8 colour plates, 1918)
  • Some British Ballads (16 colour plates, 23 line, 1918)
  • Cinderella ed. Charles S. Evans (1 colour plate, 60 silhouettes, 1919)
  • The Sleeping Beauty ed. Charles S. Evans (1 colour plate, 65 silhouettes, 1920)
  • Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens (16 colour plates, 20 line, 1920)
  • Comus by John Milton (22 colour plates, 35 line, 1922)
  • A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne (16 colour plates, 21 line, 1922)
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare (20 colour plates, 20 line, 1926)
  • The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (12 colour plates, 23 line, 1929)
  • The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton (12 colour plates, 22 line, 1931)
  • Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (12 colour plates, 43 line, 9 silhouettes 1932)
  • Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (12 colour plates, 28 line, 1935)
  • Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen (12 colour plates, 38 line, 1936)
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (16 colour plates, posthumously 1940 US, 1950 UK)
© 2014 The University of Adelaide
Last Modified 16/02/2014
CRICOS Provider Number 00123M
find us on facebook

Service Charter | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer