Like the sundial, my paint box counts no hours but sunny ones.
Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939) was an English illustrator responsible for the pictures in a huge number of classic children's titles, many of which feature in the Wordsworth list. 'Mother Goose' was a collection of traditional nursery rhymes which he edited and illustrated.
Arthur Rackham was born in London on 19 September 1867. In 1884, at the age of 17, he was sent on an ocean voyage to Australia to improve his fragile health, accompanied by two Aunts. In 1885, he was working as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art. In 1892 he quit his job and started working for The Westminster Budget as a reporter and illustrator.
His first book illustrations were published in 1893 in To the Other Side by Thomas Rhodes, but his first serious commission was in 1894 for The Dolly Dialogues, the collected sketches of Anthony Hope, who later went on to write The Prisoner of Zenda. Book illustrating then became Rackham’s career for the rest of his life. In 1903 he married Edyth Starkie, with whom he had one daughter, Barbara, in 1908.
Arthur Rackham is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from, what has come to be called, the ‘Golden Age’ of British book illustration which encompassed the years from 1900 until the start of the First World War. Examples of his work can be seen in the published books, Mother Goose (1913) and English Fairy Tales (1918)
Rackham won a gold medal at the Milan International Exhibition in 1906 and another one at the Barcelona International Exposition in 1912. His works were included in numerous exhibitions, including one at the Louvre in Paris in 1914. Arthur Rackham died of cancer on 06 September 1939, in his home in Limpsfield, Surrey.