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Monday, June 23, 2014

Kenneth Inns

Kenneth Inns is a surprisingly elusive artist to track down. His name might be recognised by collectors of Ladybird Books, or or children's literature in general. A few of you may know him as an illustrators of magazines and there may even be a handful of readers who know that it was Inns who took over the artwork of "Carol Day" following the death of her creator, David Wright.

The earliest work I have been able to confirm dates from the 1930s, although you will notice that the first two books listed in the bibliography below date from 1929. I've bracketed these and added a question mark as I'm not convinced that Inns was the illustrator of the first editions of these books (which were indeed published in 1929). He may have been the illustrator of later printings of the books from the 1930s or 1940s.

At the same time as this period of book illustration, Inns also contributed to The Illustrated London News, The Wide World magazine and Every Boy's Annual. In 1953 he teamed up with Ladybird Books for the first title in a run of religious titles that covered various aspects of the life of Jesus and other biblical characters.

When David Wright died suddenly in 1967, Inns was drafted in to continue the strip and, although it is generally said that he could not match Wright's skill as an artist, he did keep the strip running for another four years as a daily and a further four months as a weekly.

What happened to Inns after 1971 I've no idea.

You can find some examples of his artwork for a later Ladybird book here. I'll post some artwork from his Story of Daniel tomorrow.

Illustrated Books
Rivals of the Reef by Percy F. Westerman.  London & Glasgow, Blackie & Son, [1929?].
Smuggler's Luck by Frank Charleston. London, Blackie & Son, [1929?].
Disgrace to the College by G. D. H. & Margaret Cole. London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1937.
Young Robin Brand, Detective by Freeman Wills Croft. London, University of London Press, 1947.
Bulldog Drummond Stands Fast by Gerard Fairlie. London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1947.
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1953.
The Little Lord Jesus by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1954.
Moses, Prince and Shepherd by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1955.
The Story of Joseph by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1955.
The Child in the Temple by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1956.
Two Stories Jesus Told by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1956.
The Story of Daniel by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1957.
Jesus By the Sea of Galilee by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1958.
Jesus Calls His Disciples by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1959.
Naaman and the Little Maid by Lucy Diamond. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1959.
The Ladybird Words for Numbers series: Book 1 Understanding Numbers by J. McNally & W. Murray. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1966.
The Ladybird Words for Numbers series: Book 2 Words We Need for Numbers by J. McNally & W. Murray. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1966.
The Ladybird Words for Numbers series: Book 3 More Words for Numbers by J. McNally & W. Murray. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1966.
The Ladybird Words for Numbers series: Book 4 Everyday Words for Numbers by J. McNally & W. Murray. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth [Ladybird Books], 1966; revised 1970.

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