(1900-1979) Chinese-born painter, illustrator and writer, in the UK from 1905. He began to work as an illustrator around 1926. He illustrated an edition of J Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly in 1929; this was the first of over 170 books he illustrated. He started to write stories for younger children with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936; illus redrawn 1955), beginning a series of loosely linked tales that mix the mundane and the fantastical in a manner typical of tales written for that age group. Ardizzone's Hans Andersen (coll 1978) and Ardizzone's English Fairy Tales (coll 1980) are also of interest. His best-known illustrations of fantasy subjects are those for various books by James Reeves, beginning with The Blackbird in the Lilac (1952), and Eleanor Farjeon, beginning with The Little Bookroom (1955). A collaboration with Reeves, Prefabulous Animiles (1957), generated numerous drawings of fabulated creatures (see Bestiaries).
Other texts of interest with EA illustrations include an edition of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1947), several books by Walter de La Mare, including the first post-WWII edition of Peacock Pie (coll 1946), Nicholas Stuart Gray's Down in the Cellar (1961), editions of The Little Fire Engine (1973) by Graham Greene (1904-1991) and Greene's other Children's Fantasies, the late revision of Noel Langley's The Land of Green Ginger (1966), a new edition of the Twice-Told tale The Dragon (1966 chap) by Archibald Marshall (1866-1934), Naomi Mitchison's The Rib of the Green Umbrella (1960 chap), several children's books by John Symonds including Lottie (1956 chap), and T H White's The Godstone and the Blackymor (1959).
EA's style was seemingly casual, artfully simple, undemanding, unchallenging and unmistakable. [JC]
Edward Jeffrey Irving Ardizzone