(1872 - 1949)

Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson was a multi talented British artist – a painter of still life, landscape and portraiture, a set designer, a printmaker of woodcuts and lithography, and an illustrator and author of children’s books. After a period of innovative poster design, his friend, James McNeill Whistler, recommended a young Nicholson to the publishers Heinemann as an original and expert wood-cut artist.  The relationship with the publisher was highly successful, establishing Nicholson’s reputation as an illustrator. Between 1897 and 1900 he illustrated five works: An Alphabet, An Almanac of Twelve Sports, Twelve Portraits, London Types, and The Square Book of Animals. In addition, he designed Heinemann's enduring windmill colophon.

During the first few decades of the 20th century he concentrated on painting and theatrical set design, including designing the costumes and scenery for J.M.Barrie’s first production of Peter Pan in 1904.

His natural sympathy with children produced work of great charm when he returned to illustration with Margery Williams’s The Velveteen Rabbit  (1922) and with the books for children  written and illustrated by him, Clever Bill (1926) and The Pirate Twins  (1929),

He was knighted in 1936 for his contributions to art.

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Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

SASSOON, Siegfried


The Velveteen Rabbit