Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Ford, H J

(1860-1941) UK artist, sometimes credited as Henry Ford, best-known as the illustrator of Andrew Lang's 12 coloured Fairy Books. HJF's drawings contributed greatly to the success of this hugely popular series. He collaborated with other artists on the first two titles, The Blue Fairy Book (anth 1889) with G P Jacomb-Hood and The Red Fairy Book (anth 1890) with Lancelot Speed, but all later volumes were illustrated wholly by HJF. Several related volumes by Lang and his wife were given richly decorated covers by HJF: The Animal Story Book (1896), The Arabian Nights Entertainments (1898), The Red Book of Animal Stories (1899), The Book of Romance (1902), The Red Book of Romance (1905; vt The Red Romance Book) and Tales of Greece and Troy (1909).

Ford's widely imaginative graphic drawings, combining realism and fantasy, and full of action, perfectly complemented Lang's selections of Fairytales, myths and legends. In later volumes Ford included colour plates (in addition to numerous b/w drawings) which strongly recalled the Preraphaelites in their attention to detail and brilliant rosy colours. The dreamlike air of fantasy which pervades much of his work resulted from the strong influence of his friend Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

After Lang died in 1912, Ford illustrated, among others, M R James's Old Testament Legends (coll 1913) and E F Benson's David Blaize and the Blue Door (1918). [RD]

Henry Justice Ford

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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.