UPTON, Florence

(1873 - 1922)
“With kindly smile he nearer draws : Begs them to feel no fear. “What is your name?’  Cries Sarah Jane : “The Golliwogg my dear.””

 Born in Flushing, New York, Florence Kate Upton was encouraged by her parents to draw and to paint, even keeping her father company when he enrolled in evening classes to study art.  Upon her father’s unexpected death when she was only 16, Florence left school to help supplement the family income as an illustrator, which she did with moderate success for the following four years.  In 1893 the family finances had improved to such an extent that they were able to travel to London to visit with relatives, and Florence remained with them when her mother, Bertha, and her three sisters returned to America.  Wanting to undertake further art tuition, but unable to afford it, Florence thought to take advantage of the rising popularity of children’s books and her own artistic abilities to create a book which she hoped would sell well enough to fund her training.  She modelled her story on her collection of dolls and her mother providing the verse text based on Florence’s illustrations. 

She then took her manuscript and artwork to various publishers, none of who were interested until an editor, J.W. Allen, at Longmans Green, took it home for his children to look at – they loved it and with The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls an entire genre of children’s fiction was born.  From 1894 to 1909 Florence and her mother created a total of thirteen titles following the adventures of the happy-go-lucky Golly, until changing tastes made Golliwogg in the African Jungle the last in the series.  To raise money for the Red Cross, she donated her dolls and much of her artwork for auction in 1917 and they subsequently spent many years at Chequers before ending up at the V&A Museum of Childhood. 

 Please scroll down to see our current stock of Florence Upton first editions.

Add to favourites
 Florence UPTON

Books by this author

The Golliwogg's Christmas

UPTON, Florence


The Golliwogg in War!

UPTON, Florence


Golliwogg in the African Jungle

UPTON, Florence


The Golliwogg's Fox-Hunt

UPTON, Florence


The Golliwogg's Desert-Island

UPTON, Florence


The Golliwogg's Air-Ship

UPTON, Florence


The Golliwogg's Circus

UPTON, Florence


Porcelain Golliwogg Feeding Cup

UPTON, Florence