Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Robinson, Charles

(1870-1937) Outstanding UK book illustrator with a clean, bright, decorative pen-line style showing distinct Art Nouveau influence; he also worked in a delicate line-and-watercolour style. His Illustrations have a sensitive Romanticism allied to a strong sense of design and firmly controlled composition. Influenced by Walter Crane, he had a genuine feeling for book design, and was a major contributor to the Arts and Crafts tradition of seeing the book as a work of art.

CR was one of three illustrator sons of London wood engraver Thomas Robinson (the other two were Thomas Heath Robinson [1869-1950] and W Heath Robinson). Unable to afford to accept the offer of a place at the Royal Academy Schools, he was apprenticed to a lithographer and attended evening classes at West London Art School and Heatherley's School of Art, working as a freelance illustrator in his father's studio in The Strand. His remarkable early success began with the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), in which his drawings show a surprising maturity and sureness of touch. He was very prolific, illustrating well over 120 books and contributing to many leading Magazines, including The Graphic, Black and White and The Illustrated London News. [RT]

Charles Robinson


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.