Charles Robinson – The Happy Prince
Charles Robinson (1870–1937) was a prolific British book illustrator.
Born in Islington in October 1870, London, he was the son of an illustrator and his brothers Thomas Heath Robinson and William Heath Robinson also became illustrators. He served an apprenticeship as a printer and took art lessons in the evenings. He won a place at the Royal Academy in 1892 but was unable to take it up due to lack of finances.
The first full book he illustrated was Robert Louis Stevenson‘s A Child’s Garden of Verses (1895) which includes over 100 pen and ink drawings. It was extremely popular, going through many reprints, and generated numerous commissions. He illustrated many fairy tales and children’s books throughout his career, including Eugene Field‘s Lullaby Land (1897), W. E. Cule‘s Child Voices (1899), Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s Sintram and His Companions (1900), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1907), Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1910), Frances Hodgson Burnett‘s The Secret Garden (1911), and books written by Walter Copeland Jerrold and himself.
Like so many others, Charles Robinson was there, was popular, then wasn’t, and faded into the past. He, unlike a lot of his contemporaries, seemed to lead a normal and happy life.
A lot of his work is floating around on the net but with poor provenance; I’ve tried to provide at least some link to what each illustration is (not always successfully).
They are, however, pretty to look at- and that’s the point, isn’t it?