Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Caldecott, Randolph

(1846-1886) UK illustrator, cartoonist and watercolourist, active from 1868 in various journals, including Will O' the Wisp, London Society and Punch. From 1875, with his illustrated version of Washington Irving's Old Christmas (1875), he became well known for comic tales, done in colour, for the Christmas issues of the Graphic; much of this work was later assembled in book form, beginning with Randolph Caldecott's "Graphic" Pictures (graph 1883). It generally depicts rural life with a modicum of fantasy. The concurrent Randolph Caldecott's Picture Books sequence of 16 books for children (1878-1885) mostly illustrates famous verses, like the first, John Gilpin (graph 1878); the sequence was subsequently republished in various formats, culminating in The Complete Collection of Randolph Caldecott's Pictures and Songs (graph omni 1887). Other illustrated books of interest include Some of Aesop's Fables with Modern Influences (graph 1883) and Lob Lie-by-the-Fire (graph 1885). His work, whose subjects are often caricatured with cartoon-like transparency, is delicately coloured, and almost unfailingly unveils an underlying kindliness and nostalgia for country values. [JC]

Randolph Caldecott


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.