This is the first full-scale illustrated biography of Tenniel to appear. The author, an acknowledged authority on Victorian artist-illustrators, has compiled a detailed and fascinating account of this enigmatic and thoroughly elusive individual, one his colleagues knew as the supreme English gentleman. An obsessively private individual, Tenniel emerges from this book as a secretive, dedicated yet ultimately mysterious character. A true product of the Victorian age, he emulated the virtues and high moral standards inherent in his middle class public. Fiercely independent from an early age, he abandoned art school to forge his tenuous way in the world of the freelance artist and ultimately triumphed with over 38 illustrated books to his name. These earned him the coveted accolade of ‘the greatest illustrative achievement of any single hand’ for his Lalla Rookh illustrations.
Here for the first time the traumatic account in full of Tenniel’s troubled relationship with Lewis Carroll is set out, alongside numerous unpublished examples of the Alice books illustrations as they were created. These illustrations were second in importance only to Tenniel’s Punch career, which is examined by themes, social and historical issues and in the light of Tenniel’s own troubled life. Finally the book contains a complete catalogue listing of all Tenniel illustrations for the serious collector, a list of all exhibited work and lists of cartoons and paintings hitherto ignored by students of Victorian art. The book is thoroughly illustrated with 150 black and white illustrations, many of which have never been published before, to give a complete picture of this supreme Victorian artist.