BB books



Between 1890 and 1948 Brangwyn produced original illustrations for over 80 books. In his youth the impetus may have been financial - it was good bread and butter work. Many of the early illustrations were painted in grisaille on cheap board, involving minimal expense. It also has to be admitted that a large proportion of these early daubs are pretty dire - Brangwyn wasn't about to waste time on such matters. And yet, at the same time, such work was a good means of advertising oneself.

Brangwyn's interest in publishing improved in tandem with progress in reproduction. He gradually moved to painting illustrations in colour and these oils had a higher marketable value quite apart from the printing considerations. The compositions also improved, and he became an extremely knowledgeable and fastidious editor of reproductions of his own work.

In his prime Brangwyn had more than enough commissioned work to keep him busy but still kept illustrating books - perhaps he couldn't resist the challenge. For example, in Illustrators, The British Art of Illustration 1800-1999, Seymour-Smith noted that Les Villes Tentaculaires was Verhaeren's 'most ruggedly powerful book of poetry. Although this ends with a statement of faith in science, it is a deeply pessimistic collection, a thrilled and hallucinatory account of the desecration of nature by machinery. This theme would present an appropriate challenge to Brangwyn, a negative counterpart to his vital imagery of man the worker, and his finished illustrations demonstrate how successfully he demonstrated it.' Brangwyn was working, as modern parlance would put it, outside the box, outside his comfort zone, and yet captured the essence of Verhaeren's work. Brangwyn could equally well illustrate a Christian theme, as in his Stations, published as The Way of the Cross. In the introduction G K Chesterton termed Brangwyn 'the most masculine of modern men of genius' and thought that he treated the work 'very individually with things which many would now associate rather with a certain type of crystalline severity in the primitives; with the most awful austerity and renunciation, and with the secrets of a more than human sorrow'.

There were three other possible reasons Brangwyn continued to illustrate books, one charitable, the second a social conscience and the third an inability to refuse friends. The covers Brangwyn designed for Hugh Redwood's books are a paradigm - the artist was persuaded by the Rev Arthur Hird, Editor of the Theological Literature Department of Hodder and Stoughton to participate and the books themselves were concerned with the work of the Salvation Army in the slums. Brangwyn also agreed to design the cover for William Bolitho's book, Cancer of Empire, a social diatribe about living conditions in Glasgow. Other examples of charity: designs for the National Institute for the Blind were a gift, the profits from Land of my Fathers - A Welsh Gift Book went to the National Fund for Welsh Troops, royalties from Belgium went to the Belgian Relief Fund, the cover for Launch, A Lifeboat Book was a gift and the Queen's Book of the Red Cross was sold in aid of the Lord Mayor of London's fund for the Red Cross and the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

William Walcot was a friend and fellow artist and Brangwyn lodged the Walcot family in the Jointure Cottage for a few years. Walcot was a Shropshire man and probably persuaded Brangwyn to collaborate with him producing the privately published Pageant of Ludlow. In 1634 John Milton's Comus was produced on Michaelmas night at Ludlow Castle, seat of the Earl of Bridgewater. To celebrate the tercentenary Shropshire held a revival of the Masque, and the book was produced to recall other conspicuous events in the county's history. John Drinkwater, who wrote the introduction, considered the result 'a portfolio in which artistic and historic interest make a distinguished contribution'. Brangwyn and Walcot also illustrated Nero and Modern Times.

As Brangwyn grew older his superstitious religious outlook dominated and he produced over 60 illustrations for a Life of St Francis (unpublished) and a number of small etchings for a Book of Job. In 1946 he wrote that he was filled 'with pains, I am rather in the right mood to feel with Job and his misery' and that he was 'trying to finish the set of small etchings for the book of Job - very difficult as they are so small - I have before me a print of S Palmer to inspire me but I fail to understand how he did the fine work, and at the same time keep the bigness etc. - wonderful work'. Four months later he could announce 'I have completed the set of little etchings for the book of Job. very poor stuff I fear. it is impossible for me to attempt to do them in a spirited way, such as old Blake, so they are just illustrations of camels, sheep and men and women of the east, such as one sees today and no doubt the same in the days of Job'. He was still concerned about this book two years later, fearing that the plates 'will be bad. it is a great vanity on my part to attempt all this, and I wonder if one is not committing a sin doing this'.

The following is a still incomplete list of books illustrated wholly or partly by Brangwyn.  If you can fill in some of the missing details or have any books not on the list do let me know!  The books are listed in date order.

Helen Mather, Coming Through the Rye, reputedly the first book Brangwyn ever illustrated

W Clark Russell, Admiral Lord Collingwood, London: Methuen & Co, 1891
12 full page illustrations and illuminated letters by Brangwyn

W Clark Russell, The Life of a Merchant Sailor, Scribner's, 1893
10 grisaille oils by Brangwyn, engraved by G H Del-Orme

C J Cutcliffe Hyne, The Captured Cruiser, London: Blackie & Son, 1893
4 illustrations by Brangwyn

M Scott, The Cruise of the 'Midge' (2 volumes), London: Ginnings & Co, 1894
4 illustrations by Brangwyn

R Leighton, The Wreck of the Golden Fleece, Blackie, 1894
6 oil illustrations by Brangwyn

Michael Scott, Tom Cringle's Log, 2 volumes, Lodnon: Gibbings & Co Ltd, 1894
4 illustrations, title page and headpiece by Brangwyn

Thomas Shelton (translation), Don Quixote (4 volumes), London: Gibbings & Co, 1895

Edward William Lane (translation), The Arabian Nights (6 volumes), London: Gibbings & Co, 1896
36 grisaille oil illustrations by Brangwyn

W Clark Russell, Harold Frederick, Gilbert Parker, S R Crockett, Q, Tales of our Coast, London: Chatto and Windus, 1896
12 illustrations and cover by Brangwyn

George Cupples, A Sliced Yarn. Some Strands from the Life cable of Bill Bullen, London: Gibbings & Co, 1899
5 oil illustrations by Brangwyn

W H Long (Ed), Naval Yarns, London: Gibbings & Co, 1899

The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes (2 volumes), London, 1900
2 photogravure and 10 half-tone blocks

William Harrison Ainsworth, Old St Paul's, Volume 2, London: Gibbings & Co, 1901
title page by Brangwyn

Thomas Shelton (translation), Don Quixote of the Mancha (4 volumes), London: Gibbings & Co, 1901, and Philadelphia: J B Lippincott Co, 1901
4 photogravure and 23 half-tone blocks

The works of Rabelais (3 vols.), The Museum Edition, London: Gibbings & Co., 1903
Frontispiece, title page and portrait by Brangwyn

Walter Shaw Sparrow, Spirit of the Age, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1905
reproductions of Brangwyn works

Rowland Thirlmere, Letters from Catalonia and other Parts of Spain (2 volumes), London: Hutchinson & Co, 1905
9 illustrations by Brangwyn, numerous other illustrators

The Venture, annual, London: John Baillie1905

Acorn, No 2, 1906

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London: Gibbings & Co, 1906
5 colour illustrations, cover and title page by Brangwyn

Frank Newbolt, Etched Work of Frank Brangwyn ARA RE, London: The Fine Art Society, 1908

Sir Walter Raleigh, The Last Fight of the Revenge, London: Gibbings & Co, 1908
6 colour illustrations and 25 woodblock designs by Brangwyn

Edward Fitzgerald (translation), Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London: Gibbings & Co, 1909
4 colour illustrations plus full page backgrounds by Brangwyn

G Wolliscroft Rhead, History of the Fan, 1910
2 illustrations by Brangwyn, various other illustrators

Water Shaw Sparrow, Frank Brangwyn and his Work, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, 1910
20 colour and 16 collotype illustrations by Brangwyn

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1910
similar to 1905 edition

R Southey, Life of Nelson, London: Gibbings & Co, 1911
2 drawings, 7 oils and 17 woodcuts by Brangwyn

Eden Phillpotts, The Iscariot, John Murray, 1912
frontispiece by Brangwyn

Etchings of Frank Brangwyn, London: The Fine Art Society, 1912

Edward Fitzgerald, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London: T N Foulis, 1911, reprinted April 1917, October 1919, June 1920
8 colour illustrations and full page background by Brangwyn

A W Kinglake, Eothen, or Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East, London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1913
12 tipped-in colour plates, head and tail pieces and text illustrations by Brangwyn

Work, London: Berlin Photographic Company, 1914
reproductions of the ten pastel studies for Lloyd's Register murals

At the Front and At the Base, London: The Fine Art Society, 1915
6 woodcuts by Brangwyn in folio

Walter Shaw-Sparrow, A Book of Bridges, London: The Bodley Head Ltd, 1915
36 colour illustrations, 36 drawings and cover by Brangwyn - many taken from photographs

The Land of My Fathers - A Welsh Gift Book, Hodder & Stoughton, 1915

Gwlad fy Nhadau - Rhodd Cymru l'w Byddin, Hodder & Stoughton, 1915

S R Crockett, Harold Frederick, Gilbert Parker, W Clark Russell, 'Q', Tales of our Coast, London: Chatto & Windus, 1916

Hugh Stokes, Belgium, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co Ltd, 1916.  Also published New York: Frederick A Stokes, 1916
52 woodcuts, some cut by Brangwyn, others by H G Webb and C W Moore from Brangwyn's drawings

Eden Phillpotts, The Girl and the Faun, London: Cecil Palmer & Heyward, 1916
4 colour illustrations, cover, title page, page layout by Brangwyn

Levinstein Limited, Four Years Work: An Account of the Progress of the Coal-Tar Chemical Industry in England During the First World War, c1917
4 line drawings by Brangwyn

George Goodchild (Ed), Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Gift Book, London: Jarrold & Sons, 1917

National Institute for the Blind, 1914-1918
5 illustrations and cover by Brangwyn

Edward Noble, The Naval Side, London: Cecil Palmer Hay, 1918

Laurence Binyon, Bruges, London: Morland Press, 1919
Title page, vignettes and initials by Brangwyn, 6 coloured wood engravings by Urushibara from Brangwyn's drawings

Canadian War Memorials Fund, The Ruins of War, 1919
6 illustrations by Brangwyn

Warwick H Draper, The Historical Paintings in the Great Hall in London of the Worshipful Company of Skinners aforetime of the Craft and Mystery of the Guild of the Body of Christ, London: Caradoc Press, 1919

Emile Verhaeren, Les Villes Tentaculaires, Paris: Helleu, 1919
47 woodcuts and 1 lithograph by Brangwyn

Edward Fitzgerald, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London: T N Foulis, November 1919
15 full colour plates and title page by Brangwyn

W Shaw Sparrow, Prints & Drawings by Frank Brangwyn, London: John Lane The Bodley Head, 1919
text illustrations plus reproductions of drawings and paintings by Brangwyn

Catalogue of War Lithographs Designed by Frank Brangwyn, London: Avenue Press, 1920
37 lithographs by Brangwyn

Hyne and C J Cutcliffe, The Captured Cruiser, Blackie, 1920's

The Charm of the Etcher's Art, Part 2, Studio Graphic Art Folios, 1920
2 etchings by Brangwyn

Modern Woodcutters, London: The Little Art Rooms, 1920

E Hesketh Hubbard & Eden Phillpotts, Bookplates by Frank Brangwyn, London: The Bodley Head, 1920
79 illustrations and cover by Brangwyn

Brangwyn - Fourteen Examples of His Work, London: Morland Press, 1920

A Levetus, Frank Brangwyn. Zwanzig Graphische Arbeiten, Vienna: Artur Wolf, 1921
20 works reproduced in folio plus title and contents pages by Brangwyn

E W Lane (translation), The Thousand and One Nights, with further tales from the French translation of Antoine Galland, Cecil Palmer, 1921
6 photogravure and 30 illustrations by Brangwyn

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Thomas Crowell Company, 1921
3 colour illustrations by Brangwyn

Tragedy of Dixmude, 1921
5 woodcuts by Brangwyn for this exhibition catalogue

Architectural Etchings of Frank Brangwyn RA, 1922
15 reproductions of Branwyn's etchings

Brangwyn Ausstellung, 1922
catalogue cover by Brangwyn

Edward Hutton, The Pageant of Venice, London: John Lane, The Bodley Head Ltd, 1922
20 full colour illustrations, 27 pen and ink drawings and title page by Brangwyn

Hayter Preston, Windmills, London: John Lane, The Bodley Head Ltd, 1923
16 colour, front and page papers and many black and white illustrations by Brangwyn

A S Levetus, Frank Brangwyn Der Radierer, Vienna: Rikola Verlag, 1924
reproductions of Brangwyn etchings

Artist's London: As Seen in Eighty Contemporary Pictures, London: John Castle, 1924
2 drawings, 2 lithographs, 1 etching by Brangwyn, other illustrations by W P Robins

William Bolitho, Cancer of Empire, London: G P Putnam, 1924
cover by Brangwyn

Martin Hardie (Ed), London and North East Railway, Pageant of British Empire, Souvenir Volume, London: Fleetway Press Ltd, 1924
13 illustrations by Brangwyn, other works by Spencer Pryse and MacDonald Gill

Modern Masters of Etching: Frank Brangwyn RA, London: The Studio, 1924
12 etchings by Brangwyn

Nero and Modern Times, c1924
7 illustrations by Brangwyn, others illustrations by William Walcot

Barbizon House bookcovers 1925-38

W R Macklin and H A Rigby, Decorative Paintings in Christ's Hospital, Ditchling: St Dominic's Press, 1925
drawings of Brangwyn's murals at Christ's Hospital as interpreted by H A Rigby

Venice - Past and Present, London: The Studio, 1925

Christian Barman, The Bridge: A Chapter in the History of Building, London: John Lane, The Bodley Head Ltd, 1926
24 colour plates, 22 black and white plates, cover by Brangwyn

William Gaunt, Etchings of Frank Brangwyn RA, London: The Studio, 1926

Brangwyn Portfolio, 1919-1927
100 works by Brangwyn, original etchings and lithographs, plus reproductions

E Roy Calvert, Capital Punishment, London: Putnam, c1927
cover by Brangwyn

Emile Verhaeren, Les Campagnes Hallucinees, Paris: Helleu & Sargent, 1927
43 woodcuts and 7 lithographs by Brangwyn

L Richmond and J Littlejohns, The Art of Painting in Pastel, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1927

G S Sandilands, Famous Water-Colour Painters: Frank Brangwyn RA , London: The Studio, 1928

Exhibition of Furniture, Pollard and Co, 1930
catalogue cover by Brangwyn

Hugh Redwood, God in the Slums: A Book of Modern Miracles, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1930
cover by Brangwyn

C E Shebbeare, Sir Thomas More: A Leader of the English Renaissance, Ambrosden Press, 1930
1 wood engraving by Brangwyn

Frederick Irving Taylor, Sacrifice or Azal & Edras, an Epic Poem, London: Ingpen and Grant, 1930
Title page and 1 illustration by Brangwyn

Jerome & Jean Tharaud, L'Ombre de la Croix, Paris: Editions Lapina, 1931
73 etchings by Brangwyn, many taken from photographs

H Davis Richter, Floral Art - Decoration and Design, South Benfleet: F Lewis, 1932
4 illustrations by Brangwyn, 33 other contributors

General Seely, Launch, A Lifeboat Book, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1932
cover by Brangwyn

Hugh Redwood, God in the Shadows, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1932
cover by Brangwyn

Masters of Etching #30, 1932
12 etchings and cover by Brangwyn

George Pearse Ennis, Making a Watercolour, Studio Publications, 1933

Charles Ganz (Ed), A Fitzgerald Medley, London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1933
frontispiece by Brangwyn

Frank Rutter, British Empire Panels, Essex: F Lewis, 1933

Iveagh Trustees, The Brangwyn Panels, London: Edmund Evans, c1930

Catalogue of Works by Frank Brangwyn RA LLD, Hull: Ferens Art Gallery, 1933
cover by Brangwyn

An English Portfolio, supplement to Bookman, 1934
7 illustrations by Brangwyn

Hugh Redwood, Kingdom Come, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1934
cover by Brangwyn

William Walcot, The Pageant of Ludlow, 1934
3 etchings and frontispiece by Brangwyn, other illustrations by Walcot

G K Chesterton (commentary), The Way of the Cross, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935
14 Stations of the Cross by Brangwyn

Hugh Redwood, God in the Everyday, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936
cover by Brangwyn

Alan Villiers, Cruise of the Conrad, 1937

Geoffrey Holme, The Children's Art Book, London: The Studio, 1938
2 etchings by Brangwyn

Queen's Book of the Red Cross, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1939
1 illustration by Brangwyn

William de Belleroche, Brangwyn as I know Him, Norringham: Millward & Sons Ltd, 1940

Leaves from the Sketch Books of Frank Brangwyn, Leigh-on-Sea: F Lewis, 1940
20 wood engravings by Urushibara from Brangwyn's drawings

Ten Woodcuts by Yoshiro Urushibara, Benfleet: F Lewis, 1940
10 coloured and 1 black and white woodcuts by Urushibara from Brangwyn's drawings

G Emslie, A Floral Anthology, Leigh-on-Sea: F Lewis, 1943
2 illustrations by Brangwyn

G Emslie, The King's Ships, 1944

G Emslie, The Last of the Wooden Walls of England, Leigh-on-Sea: F Lewis, 1944
11 drawings, 3 etchings and 1 lithograph by Brangwyn

William de Belleroche, Brangwyn Talks, London: Chapman & Hall, 1944
numerous pen and ink sketches by Branwgyn

C Fox Smith, Here and There in England with the painter Brangwyn, F Lewis, 1945
17 tipped-in fine colour plates and many black and white illustrations by Brangwyn

C P Skilton, British Windmills and Watermills, Collins, 1947

Herbert E Julyan, 60 Years of Yachts, Hutchinsons, 1948
29 drawings by Brangwyn

The Book of Job, F Lewis, 1948
32 etchings by Brangwyn

William de Belleroche, Brangwyn's Pilgrimage, London: Chapman & Hall, 1948
numerous pen and ink sketches by Brangwyn

Percy V Bradshaw, Come Sketching, London: The Studio Publications, 1949

Naval Yarns, pre 1920

Sonnets of Shakespeare, Cambridge Press, USA, pre 1920

Sussex Smugglers, London: Gibbings & Co, pre 1920

George Cupples, The Green Hand, pre 1920

The Ravens of War (6 volumes), pre 1920

The Essays of Emerson, London: Gibbings & Co Ltd
1 illustration by Brangwyn