Walter Crane's Christmas wish


Walter Crane, (1845-1915), was born in Liverpool and is regarded as one of the major  British children's book illustrators of the latter part of the 19th century, alongside his contemporaries, Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway. An exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, he was also a prolific artist, decorator, designer and writer. He was renowned for his imaginative nursery rhyme motifs, fables, fairy tales and Christmas illustrations.

A  major favourite for the children of the period was his delightfully illustrated The Baby's own Æsop: being the fables condensed in rhyme with portable morals pictorially pointed by Walter Crane. 

Cover of The Baby's own Æsop by Walter Crane

His father Thomas Crane, (1808-1859), a portrait painter and miniaturist, introduced the young Walter into art circles where he met and was apprenticed to the highly acclaimed wood-engraver William James Linton from 1859-62. He also collaborated extensively with Edmund Evans, (1826-1905), a prominent wood-engraver and colour printer, with his illustrations for inexpensive novels called "YellowBacks" and toy books all printed and engraved by Evans.

Crane also illustrated sixteen novels by Mary Louisa Molesworth (1839-1921), known as Mrs Molesworth, an English writer of children's stories.

Cover of A Christmas Child: a sketch of a boy's life by Mrs Molesworth

A very popular work of Crane's was his imaginative Flora's feast: a masque of flowers published in 1899.

He completes Flora's Feast with an ethereal Christmas Rose:

Christmas Rose from Walter Cranes Flora's feast: a masque of flowers


Fryer Library wishes everyone a joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!

Last updated:
5 January 2017