Arthur R. Chandler The Story of E.H.Shepard

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Inhaltsangabe zu „The Story of E.H.Shepard“ von Arthur R. Chandler

EH Shepard is, of course, best known as the illustrator of the ever popular Pooh books. For adult readers of those classics an insight into the work of the man who gave shape to Pooh's girth is a welcome treat. Shepard's will, however, asked that no biography should be written until 30 years after his death and so The Man Who Drew Pooh does not attempt an exhaustive retelling of the artist's life but rather seeks to take a detailed look through the "Shepard Archive" at the University of Surrey. In 1974 Shepard, who had lived in Guildford for 51 years, presented the archive of drawings, manuscripts, papers, diaries, memorabilia to the university Vice Chancellor. "The Archive must be one of the most important resources on EH Shepard in the world. This book covers a span of ninety years ... [s]ome of the pictures have not been published before" and, interestingly, the overwhelming majority show the non-Pooh work. Whilst initially this may come as something of a disappointment the book's strong selection of Shepard's work from Punch, Ben and Brock and Betsty and Joe more than makes up for it. What is showcased here is, "[t]o the art historian ... one of the great illustrators of the early twentieth century." Like so many of his generation, Shepard's life was punctuated by two world wars and the work reflects these awful events as well as the social changes that occurred through them. Chandler does a decent job of situating the works both in their wider context and through a brief but busy overview of Shepard's personal life. This is an extremely enjoyable read and a wonderful glimpse into the world of a man whose other drawings should be far better known than they are. --Mark Thwaite
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