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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stuart Tresilian

Of all the artists who contributed to Swift Annual, Stuart Tresilian is probably one of the best known. Apart from illustrating editions of Rudyard Kipling's Animal Stories and All the Mowgli Stories in the 1930s, he was the illustrator of Enid Blyton's hugely popular Adventure series of novels which went through many editions with Tresilian's illustrations intact.

Stuart Tresilian's birth was registered as Cecil Stewart Hazell Tresilian in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire, on 12 July 1891 (although usually given as Bristol) but he was baptized Cecil Stuart Hazell Tresilian at St Thomas, Eastville, on 23 March 1892. He was the son of Cecil Pascoe Tresilian (1867-1924) and Alice Maria Tresilian, and had five younger siblings—Frances Margaret, Percy, Winifred Maud, Richard William and Olive Maria. The family moved to 67 Oakley Road, Islington, London, where Stuart's father worked as a Colliery Clerk. He later became a professional vocalist before serving with the Army Audit Department.

Stuart Tresilian studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He subsequently became an art class teacher at Regent Street Polytechnic whilst still living with his parents at 14 Market Parade, High Road, East Finchley.

Tresilian served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 5th London Regiment during the Great War. Wounded, he was captured by the Germans on 28 March 1918 and held at Rastatt, Baden, where he continued to draw throughout his incarceration. He was repatriated on 13 December 1918 and some of his drawings are now held by the Imperial War Museum, an example of which can be found here.

He was married to Sybil Alfreda Mayer at St Mary, Kilburn, on 11 March 1919. They lived at 8 Union Road, Islington [fl.1921], 414b Camden Road, Islington [fl.1922-25], 10 Mowbray Road, Willesden [fl.1946], 213 Goldhurst Terrace, Hampstead [fl.1948-60].

Following his release, he returned to the Regent Street Polytechnic as a teacher, his students including Charles Keeping. During the 1930s and 1940s he was also a very prolific illustrator for books and magazines, his work appearing in The Wide World Magazine, Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine, Zoo, The Passing Show, The Wide World Magazine and Britannia and Eve. He also co-wrote a text book for art students, Human Anatomy for Art Students (1961).

Tresilian was a member of the Art Workers' Guild (Master, 1960) and of the SGA (President, 1962-65). After retiring, he moved to Winslow, Buckinghamshire. Tresilian died in the summer of 1974 (not 1976 as I've seen on one art auction web site), his death registered in North Bucks (as Cecil Stuart P. Tresilian).

Some examples of Tresilian's artwork, including unused illustrations produced for J. M. Dent & Sons, can be found here. Some examples of Blyton covers and others can be found at Heather's Blyton Pages where some of the above biographical material is taken from.

Books
Human Anatomy for Art Students, with Herbert J. Williams. London, Chapman & Hall, 1961.

Illustrated Books
Animal Stories from Rudyard Kipling. London, Macmillan & Co., 1932.
All the Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling. London, Macmillan & Co., 1933.
The Jumping Lions of Borneo by John William Dunne. London, Faber & Faber, 1937.
Elephants in Africa by Frank Hulme Melland. London, Country Life, 1938; New York, C. Scribner's Sons, 1938.
The Sacred Bullock, and other stories of animals by Mazo de la Roche. London, Macmillan & Co., 1939.
Beavers. Pages from the writings of Grey Owl, ed. E. E. Reynolds. Cambridge, University Press, 1940.
Behind the Ranges. Tales of explorers, pioneers and travellers by E. E. Reynolds. Cambridge, University Press, 1940.
On the Trail. Pages from the writings of Grey Owl, ed. E. E. Raynolds. Cambridge, University Press, 1940.
Unknown Ways. More tales of explorers, pioneers and travellers, by E. E. Reynolds. Cambridge, University Press, 1940.
We Couldn't Leave Dinah by Mary Treadgold. London, Jonathan Cape, 1941.
Challenge to Adventure by M. E. Atkinson. London, John Lane, 1942.
Biggles in Borneo by W. E. Johns. London, Oxford University Press, Jul 1943.
The Monster of Widgeon Weir by M. E. Atkinson. London, John Lane, 1943.
M.T.B. Captain by Rowland Walker. London, A. & C. Black, 1943.
Sam Does His Stuff by Dorothy Ann Lovell. London, Jonathan Cape, 1943.
The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1944.
The Nest fo the Scarecrow by M. E. Atkinson. London, John Lane, 1944.
Spitfires Over Malta by Rowland Walker. London, A. & C. Black, 1944.
High Holiday by Elizabeth Yates. London, A. & C. Black, 1945.
Problem Party by M. E. Atkinson. London, John Lane, 1945.
The Castle of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1946.
The Valley of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1947.
Bhimsa, the Dancing Bear by Christine Weston. London, Macmillan & Co., 1948.
Minky the Kitten by Rebe Taylor. London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1948.
The Sea of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1948.
Midsummer Magic by Eilis Dillon. London, Macmillan & Co., 1949.
The Mountain of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1949.
Sinister Service. The adventures of Lance Lovell by Capt. W. E. Johns. London, Oxford University Press, 1949.
The Ship of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1950.
Challenge to Adventure by M. E. Atkinson. London, The Bodley Head, 1950.
Wild Life in the Ice and Snow by C. Bernard Rutley. London, Macmillan & Co., 1950.
Biggles in the Baltic by Capt. W. E. Johns. London, Oxford University Press, 1952.
The Circus of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1952.
Prince Curly by Anthony A. Nye. London, Macmillan & Co., 1952.
Rich Inheritance. A story of Catholic Elizabethan England by Winefride Nolan. London, Macmillan & Co., 1952.
Sons of the Tiger by Patricia Case. London, Macmillan & Co., 1952.
Wild Life in the Bush and Jungle by C. Bernard Rutley. London, Macmillan & Co., 1954.
Young Farmers in Denmark by Nancy Martin. London, Macmillan & Co., 1954.
Boys, Bears and Blizzards by Lydia Eliott. London, Macmillan & Co., 1955.
Exiles Come Home by Winefride Nolan. London, Macmillan & Co., 1955.
Jeremy "Down Under" by K. Maclure. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1955.
The River of Adventure by Enid Blyton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1955.
Chokra by John Michael. London, Macmillan & Co., 1957.
Dark Amazon by Martin Gregg. London, Macmillan & Co., 1957.
The Spotted Deer by James Howard Williams. London, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling. London, Macmillan & Co., 1958.
Land in Peril by Olwen Lawton. London, Macmillan & Co., 1958.
Amat's Elephant by S. C. George. London, Macmillan & Co., 1959.
Antarctic Adventure. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 by Sir Vivian Fuchs. London, Cassell, 1959.
Sweet Witch by Richard Llewellyn. London, Longmans, Green & Co., 1959.
The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott; simplified by C. Kingley Williams. London, Longmans, 1959.
In Quest of a Mermaid by James Howard Williams. London, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1960.
Journey to the Amazon by M. L. Emslie. London & Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers, 1960.
Petrus, Dog of the Hill Country by Joseph E. Chipperfield. London, Heinemann, 1960.
The Quest of Ati Manu by Mary Pratchett. London, Lutterworth Press, 1960.
Three in the Andes by M. L. Emslie. London & Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers, 1960.
The Boys of Glen Morroch by Allan Mackinnon. Leicester, Brockhampton Press, 1961.
Come Home Brumby by Mary Pratchett. London, Lutterworth Press, 1961.
The Grey Dog from Galtymore by Joseph E. Chipperfield. London, Heinemann, 1961.
Jesus of Nazareth by H. K. Luce. London, Adam & Charles Black, 1961.
The Roan Runner by Jane Annixter. London, Heinemann, 1961.
Wild and Free. Stories of Canadian animals by H. Mortimer Batten. London & Glasgow, Blackie, 1961.
Circus Brumby by Mary Pratchett. London, Lutterworth Press, 1962.
Lapland Journey by M. L. Emslie. London & Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers, 1962.
Spitsbergen Adventure by M. L. Emslie. London & Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers, 1962.
Yugoslav Mystery by Arthur Catherall. London, Dent & Sons, 1962.
Brim's Boat by Michael Gaunt. London, Jonathan Cape, 1964.
Down the Big River by G. W. Abbott. London, Macmillan & Co., 1964.
The Strange Invader by Arthur Catherall. London, J. M. Dent & Sons, 1964.
Stranger in the Herd by Mary Pratchett. London, Lutterworth Press, 1964.
Two Stories from Africa by Bridget Akwada. London, Macmillan & Co., 1964.
Antarctic Secret by Michael John Barrett. London, J. M. Dent & Sons, 1965.
Hounds of the King, with two radio plays by the author by Henry Treece. London, Longmans, 1965.
Poachers in the Serengeti by Audrey Lousada. London, Constable Young Books, 1965.
Brim Sails Out by Michael Gaunt. London, Jonathan Cape, 1966.
Animal Orphanage by Ric Garvey. London, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1967.
Sade and Her Friends by Anne Akpabot. London, Nelson, 1967.
Hamid and the Fisherman by Geraldine Kaye. London, Oxford University Press, 1968.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. London, Piccolo Books, 1986.
The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. London, Piccolo Books, 1986.
Stories of Adventure by Enid Blyton (contains The Island of Adventure, Castle of Adventure, Valley of Adventure). London, Macmillan Children's, 1987.

(* Originally published 3 February 2007; this version updated 25 February 2014)

7 comments:

Rona said...

Just wanted to say that I thought Stuart Tresilian's illustrations to the Adventure series, particularly The Valley of Adventure, were sheer magic.

There was a mysterious quality to the drawings that made the book a favourite.

I received The Valley of Adventure for my 7th birthday in 1950 and read it on a long train journey to London, one of the most thrilling journeys of my childhood.

Steve said...

... and I wish I still had my copy of The Island Of Adventure which I can still picture in my mind even though the book itself is long gone -- probably given away to neighbours by my Mum. It probably wasn't a first edition but I loved that book!

Ian said...

He's a good illustrator, but he didn't do the Jumping Lions of Borneo. That was Irene Robinson. Great book though, wish it wasn't so hard to find, and I wish Irene had done more illustrations!

Steve said...

Sorry to disagree, Ian, but Tresilian definitely was the illustrator of the 1937 Faber & Faber first edition of Dunne's The Jumping Lions of Borneo. Irene Robinson illustrated the first American edition published in New York by Henry Holt in 1938.

Scott said...

As an adult, I found copies of all eight titles in Blyton's ADVENTURE series on eBay. Although my advanced age and the wearing away of innocence had dulled the impact these books had on me as a child, I still got goosebumps as I flipped through the pages and rediscovered Stuart Tresilian's illustrations. Like Rona, THE VALLEY OF ADVENTURE left a deep impression on me as a boy. I must have read it two dozen times. Stuart Tresilian's artwork was masterful, compelling, and--as I have learned--enduring.

aveens11 said...

I found a 1961 edition of Puck of Pook's Hill with a very different illustrator on both covers, unfortunately unacknowledged. Any idea who it might have been?

Steve said...

Without the name of the publisher or series it would be impossible to even guess. If you can supply a little more information about the edition you have, someone may be able to help.