(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 (> 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