Blyton Illustrators A - C


Joseph Abbey

Joseph Abbey illustrated the first 7 books in the Mystery (Five Find-Outers and Dog) series. His are my favourite illustrations out of the three illustrators who created artwork for the original editions in this series. There is some evidence to suggest that he also illustrated Biggles in Spain by Captain W.E. Johns, Flak by Shirley Goulden and Murder at Eight Bells by Ernest McReay, however they are attributed to J. Abbey rather than Joseph Abbey. The Biggles in Spain illustrations do bear some resemblance to the style of those in the Mystery Series (see below), but if anybody has any further information on this subject, please email me.

Images below by Joseph Abbey (L-R) The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat, The Mystery of the Missing Necklace, The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters, interior illustration and colour plate from Biggles in Spain and Murder at Eight Bells.

Alfred Ernest Walter George Aris, FZS. SGA. (22 Apr 1882 - 14 Apr 1963)

Aris illustrated The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies, Birds of Our Gardens (1941 - collaborated with Roland Green), Hop Skip and Jump, Tiny Tots - A Picture Story Book for Little People, The Further Adventures of Brer Rabbit (1935 & 1942), Boys and Girls Story Book No. 3/4/5 (1935/7), The News Chronicle Boys' and Girls' Annual 1940 (collaborated with Katherine Nixon), the cover art for The Animal Book (interior also by Nixon), and Being More Tales of Brer Rabbit and His Friends (1942).

Perhaps one of his most famous works was The Cococubs who were created in the 1930's as part of a promotion for Cadbury's Cocoa. He also illustrated The Tasseltip Tales, and wrote and illustrated several other animal stories including The Ernest Aris Nature Series in the late 1940's published by Fountain Press.

For very detailed information on Ernest Aris, please visit (part of Dudley Chignall's Cococubs site) and also

Thank you to Dudley Chignall for all of the information in this section.

Images below by Ernest Aris (L-R) Cover art and interior illustration from The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies, Birds of Our Gardens, an edition of The Cococub News, Bunkum Brown Bandit, , , ,

G.W. Backhouse

GW Backhouse illustrated a later edition of Shadow the Sheepdog (original edition illustrated by Lucy Gee).

Images below by Backhouse (L-R) Cover art and interior illustration from Shadow the Sheepdog.

Tom Barling

Tom Barling illustrated Blyton's Thirteen O'Clock, and very famously Bananas in Pyjamas by Enid's nephew Carey Blyton. He also turned his hand to Dracula (Corgi Books 1976) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Grosset & Dunlap 1976)! His strong, cartoon-style pictures lent a special other-worldliness to these last two titles. He was also an animator on the 1973 16-episode TV series of The Addams Family.

Images below by Barling (L-R) Thirteen O'Clock, Bananas In Pyjamas (full cover and enlargment of cover illustration), interior illustration from Dracula, Frankenstein, cover of the Addams Family video.

Alfred Edmeades Bestall (14 Dec 1892 - 15 Jan 1986)

A E Bestall illustrated the original 1944 Newnes publication of Blyton’s The Boy Next Door, which was then reissued by Collins in the 1950's with new illustrations by Gilbert Dunlop. He also illustrated a rare and little-known Blyton publication The Play's The Thing issued in 1927. Thank you to Tony Summerfield of the Enid Blyton Society for the rare scan of this title.

Bestall was born in Mandalay, Burma to Methodist missionaries. They later returned to England and he was educated at Rydal school, Birmingham Central School of Art and The LCC Central School of Art before joining the Army in 1915.

He then completed his studies and did freelance work for periodicals Chums, Punch and Tatler. In this period he also illustrated an enormous number of books, mostly for children, including pictures for numerous Girls annuals for both Blackie & Son and Warne, but the Rupert Bear stories are by far his most famous work. Rupert Bear is a very popular childrens' character who still lives on in books and television series today. He originally appeared in The Daily Express as a cartoon, and was created by Mary Tourtel. After her retirement in 1935, Bestall took over and wrote and illustrated all of the Rupert stories up until 1973. He is one of those few "follow up" author/illustrators whose work is actually more popular and collectible than the originals.

Alfred A Bestall was awarded the MBE in 1985, the following year in Wern Nursing Home at the ripe old age of 93.

Images below by A E Bestall (L-R) A photograph of AE Bestall, The Play's The Thing, The Boy Next Door, Folk Tales of Wales, Rupert Bear, Mother and child at Howell's annual winter sale - An advertisement from 1923, A Landlady with her a prospective lodger from Tatler 1925, A child's bathtime from Tatler 1930.

Peter Biegel (22 Apr 1913 - 1989)

Peter Biegel illustrated Blyton's Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm. I believe this is the only Blyton book he illustrated.

Biegel specialised in art and illustrations depicting horses and dogs. He was born in Croxley Green, into a family of artists and accomplished horsemen. He began his education at Downside, and later studied art at Lucy Kemp-Welch's school at Bushey and The Bournemouth School of Art, and became a student of Lionel Edwards. Much of his art is oil on canvas, but he also did some book illustrations including Faulkner-Horne's Green Trail and The Year 'Round: A Perennial Miscellany for Fox-Hunters by Guy Wheeler.

Images below by Peter Biegel (L-R) Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm, a painting entitled To the December Sales, painting entitled The Paddock at Salisbury Racecourse, Sketches of Mr Jeffords Hounds, a card for Players Cigarettes depicting a Golden Retreiver - a series of these cards entitled Dogs Heads by Biegel was released in 1940.

Hilda Boswell (1903 - 1976)

Hilda Boswell is a very accomplished artist, who illustrated Blyton's "Flower" books. The gorgeous illustrations have made copies of this book with an intact dust jacket incredibly difficult to find - they are snapped up by collectors immediately! She also created the dust wrapper for The Eighth Holiday Book.

Boswell was born in London, and went on to study at the Hornsey School of art then later the Regent Street Polytechnic. Working mostly in watercolour, she produced incredibly detailed illustrations for many books both by herself and other authors. Her first book is believed to be Edward and Gumbo, published by The R A Publishing Company in 1943.

Boswell also illustrated a popular version of Snow White, Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses and a story from The Collins Childrens Annual entitled The Magic Cottage, among so many others it's impossible to list them.

Her most notable books are Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Childrens Stories, published by Collins in 1971, and also in the same series Treasury of Nursery Rhymes and Treasury of Poetry.

Images below by Hilda Boswell (L-R) The Eighth Holiday Book, The Marigold Story Book, The Foxglove Story Book, interior illustration from Snow White, cover and interior illustration from Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Childrens Stories, Mother Hubbard's Nursery Rhyme Book, The Magic Cottage (Colour plate from The Collins Childrens Annual), A Child's Garden of Verses, Hilda Boswell's Little Boy Blue Nursery Rhymes, Edward and Gumbo

George Brook

Brook illustrated the first four books in the Secret Seven series - The Secret Seven, Secret Seven Adventure, Well Done Secret Seven and Secret Seven on the Trail. He also illustrated a later edition of The Secret of Cliff Castle.

In the Secret Seven books, Brook's simple but delightful illustrations really bring out the stories, and there are a very large number of interior illustrations in comparison to most other Blyton books.

The only other information I can find on Brook is that he illustrated some of the Tally-Ho Books for Children series and some Ladybird books. I can't find any information on his dates of birth or death, and as such I'm unsure if he is still living.

Images below by George Brook (L-R) The Secret Seven, Secret Seven Adventure, The Ladybird Book of Bedtime Rhymes, interior illustration from The Secret of Cliff Castle, interior illustration from Secret Seven Adventure (note the similarity between these last two illustrations).

Lilian Buchanan (13 Jan 1914)

Lilian Buchanan was an incredibly prolific artist. Her book illustrations were innumerable, and she also worked well in oil.

Buchanan illustrated the last three books in Blyton's Mystery (Five Find-Outer) series: The Mystery of the Strange Messages, The Mystery of the Missing Man and The Mystery of Banshee Towers. Additionally, the Malory Towers series were re-released in the mid 1950’s with Stanley Lloyd’s cover art replaced with new-look wrappers by Lilian Buchanan. I’m unsure why there was a need to update these so soon after the original editions were released, but Buchanan’s artwork is certainly still very pleasing and fits the stories just as well as Lloyd's. For a full listing of the Malory Towers books with comparative pictures of both Lloyd and Buchanan artwork, visit this page by A Jarvis.
She also co-wrote the Bobby Brewster series with H.E. Todd, but I don't know which time period this was in.

It's impossible to list all of Buchanan's other illustrative work, but just a few are:
- The Cherrys series by Will Scott, a 14-book series, published by Brockhampton Press and released between 1962 and 1965.
- The Marlows series by Hilda Boden, published by Brockhampton Press. These were released in the late fifties and early sixties, but I can't ascertain how many are in the series.
- Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Malcolm Saville, 1969.
- Silver Birches by Kathleen O'Farrell, published by Frederick Warne & Co in 1949.
- The Song of the Gipsy by Marguerite Gascoigne, published by Frederick Warne & Co in 1933.

Images below by Lilian Buchanan (L-R): The Mystery of the Strange Messages, The Mystery of the Missing Man, The Mystery of Banshee Towers, First Term at Malory Towers, The Cherrys on Zigzag Trail, Christine Pauline (oil on canvas) dated 1978, A Vase of Carnations (oil on board) dated 1960, Dried Flowers (oil on canvas) dated 1978.

W Lindsay Cable

W Lindsay Cable was a famous childrens illustrator, predominantly working in the 1940's for famous publishers such as Blackie and Son, Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co, and working for Punch magazine for several years. He was an accomplished artist, producing works such as Summer Calm (see below) which was painted in oil.

Cable illustrated all of Enid Blyton's St Clares series as well as The Naughtiest Girl in the School and The Secret of Cliff Castle. He also illustrated several books by Rita Coatts including Ghosts at Stark Hall, The Ghost at Beeches, Jane Sets Out, The Silent House and The House With Dark Corners. He illustrated a later version of Robinson Crusoe and Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen L Taylor. A famous (and controversial) work by Cable was his portrayal of Ahmad and Johnny in the booklets of the same name, which were British propaganda pamphlets distributed in Egypt.

Images below by W Lindsay Cable (L-R) Claudine at St Clares, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, interior illustration from The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Secret of Cliff Castle, Ahmad and Johnny (1940), Summer Calm (1940), The Mystery of Moated Grange by Angela Brazil (1942), Interior illustration from Round Fairyland with Alice by Brenda Girvin(1948).

Phyllis Chase

Phyllis Chase famously illustrated Enid Blyton's first and second books, Child Whispers in 1922, and Real Fairies and Responsive Singing Games in 1923, all published by J Saville & Co. These books are now among the most collectible of all of Blyton's works, and it is very rare to find a copy intact that doesn't already belong to a collector (who incidentally would probably give up his or her firstborn rather than part with it). So most of us will have to content ourselves with gazing wistfully at the pictures below.

Chase also illustrated Child Verses from "Punch", published by J Saville in 1925, along with Songs From "Punch" For Children. Unusually, she also illustrated a school publication Flights in Fairyland, a collection of poems and fairy tales collated by the Staff and Pupils of Lothian School for Girls, Harrogate in 1930.

Images below by Phyllis Chase (L-R) Child Whispers (1922), Real Fairies (1923).

Rene Cloke (4 Oct 1905 - 1 Oct 1995)

Rene Cloke was born in Plymouth, but spent most of her life in London. She spent a large part of her career illustrating postcards and greeting cards.

Cloke is a very popular and highly collectible illustrator in her own right. She illustrated several of Blyton's books including some of the Brer Rabbit books, The Adventures of Pip (dust jacket only), The Three Golliwogs, and later Dean editions of The Naughty Amelia Jane, Mr Meddle and Mr Pink-Whistle series, and The Pixieland Story Book (Collins 1966).

Included in her non-Blyton portfolio are Joy Bells published by Juvenile Productions in 1949, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows. She is also the author of several books including Woodland Stories and Before We Go to Bed.

Her playful depictions of children, toys and animals really set her apart from other illustrators.

Images below by Rene Cloke (L-R) The Three Golliwogs, Pixie Tales, Amelia Jane Again, Mr Meddle's Muddles, Mr Meddle's Mischief, The Pixieland Story Book, a picture from the Punch and Judy annual, an illustration from Joy Bells, a postcard entitled "Evening Stars", The Wind in the Willows The Ugly Duckling, Flipperty's Aeroplane and Before I Go to Bed.

Anyon Cook

Anyon Cook's most famous work by far is for Enid Blyton's The Rat-A-Tat Mystery. Her simple but striking illustrations are excellent, and reflect the story well, as well as complementing the illustrations in previous books.

Other than that, the only information I can find is that she illustrated a 1950's 16 page pamphlet version of Aesop's Fables: The Wolf and the Dog by Edna Johnson and published by Basil Blackwell.
I can't find a scan of this pamphlet, so if anybody has one, or any more information on Anyon Cook, please email me.



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