Sunday, September 14, 2008

Richard Ogle

Richard Bertram Ogle, author and illustrator, was born in Eglingham on 10 May 1889. In 1908 he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools where his tutors included John Singer Sargent and Solomon J. Solomon. Unfit for service abroad, he served with the RAMC in England. After the war a portrait of Sir Heron Allen was accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy and was well reviewed. It did not, however, lead to other comissions and the necessity of earning a living compelled Ogle to turn his attention to press work.

His talent for line drawing greatly helped and he produced a considerable quantity of book illustrations, covers and frontispiece illustrations. In 1923 he illustrated the first book by children's writer Enid Blyton. Ogle also produced colour plates for the Graphic, the Bystander and the Queen. He also had a long association with the Boy's Own Paper and for some 30 years was the artist responsible for the little drawings illustrating the predictions in Old Moore's Almanack.

An obituarist in The Times noted that Ogle "did not attain the eminence of some of his contemporaries, but he enjoyed the reputation of being an artist who could always be trusted to bring to his work sound draughtsmanship, painstaking attention to detail and a wealth of artistic ideas. In later years he took up writing and was the author of more than a dozen books written for young people which he illustrated himself; of these, the ones he would most wish to be remembered are a collection of lavishly illustrated books on animals. He illustrated no fewer than eight of the Epworth Children's Classics."

In his spare time, Ogle painted landscapes numerous studies of the sea and sky in watercolour that display "keen powers of observation and an abiding love of nature."

He married Ruby Emma Mary Palmer in Chelsea, London, on 7 August 1912 with whom he had a son and a daughter. The couple, who lived 18 Dingle Road, Bournemouth, celebrated their diamond wedding in 1972.

Ogle died at a Bournemouth nursing home on 22 June 1976, aged 87.

In 1951, Ogle penned a series of articles for The Children's Newspaper about his holiday tour of South Africa which he illustrated with many delightful pictures of local animals.

Books (written & illustrated)
The Secret. A mystery tales of Wales. London, Burns, Oates & Co., 1936.
The Circus. London, George Lapworth, 1943.
Seal Cove. London, G. Lapworth & Co., 1943.
The Waggle Tail Family. London, George Lapworth & Co., 1943.
Gnomeland: Teatime Tales for Tiny Tots (tales told by Uncle Elgo). London, P. R. Gawthorn, 1944.
Wild Life of the World. London, P. R. Gawthorn, 1944.
Albert the Ant. London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1946.
Mystery of the Migrants. A romance of nature's making. London, G. Bell & Sons, 1947.
Silent Terror. A tale of the Secret Service. Watford, Bruce Publishing Co., 1947.
Animals Strange and Rare. London, G. Bell & Sons, 1951.
Soldiers of the Queen. The royal bodyguards and household troops. London, Perry Colour Books, 1953.
Sailors of the Queen. Life in our navy of today. London, Perry Colour Books, 1954.
People of the Sun. London, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1955.
Pets and Their Care, ed. Kenneth A. Isaacs. London, Perry Colour Books, 1955.
Animals in the Service of Man. London, G. Bell & Sons, 1957.
Animals and Their Camouflage: Hide and Seek in the Animal World, forward by Anstis T. Bewes. London, W. Foulsham & Co., 1958.
Bible Creatures Painting Book. London, Independent Press, 1959.
Animals of the Past. London, G. Bell & Sons, 1962.
An Easter Frieze. London, National Sunday School Union, 1962. [frieze]

Illustrated Books
Sports and Games by Enid Blyton. London, Birn Brothers, Oct 1924.
Clinton's Quest by P. F. Westerman. London, C. A. Pearson, 1925.
The Ardice Fortune by H. B. Davidson. London, Sheldon Press, 1926. [frontispiece]
King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. London, Epworth, 1927.
Stories of the Arabian Nights (abridged). London, Epworth, 1928.
The Land of Firestone. A story of adventure in the deep forests of America and upon the high seas by Alfred Judd. London, Sheldon Press; New York, Macmillan, 1928? [frontispiece]
Old English Fairy Tales. London, Epworth, 1930.
The Voyage to Vinland by Wray Hunt. London, Sheldon Press, 1931?
Nature's Quest by Frances Evelyn Warwick. London, John Murray, 1934.
Brave Deeds by Brave Men by A. Miles, C. Sheridan Jones & others. London, R. Tuck & Sons, 1935.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (abridged), illus. with Howard Davie. London, Raphael Tuck & Sons, 1935.
Tiadatha (omnibus: The Song of Tiadatha, The Travels of Tiadatha) by Owen Rutter. London, P. Allan & Co., 1935.
The Children's Alice in Wonderland, adapted by F. H. Lee; illus. Honor C. Appleton. London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1936. [dustjacket]
Alice in Wonderland, retold by Monica Marsden. London, Arandar Books, 1946.
He Sailed with Dampier by Philip Rush. London & New York, T. V. Boardman & Co., 1947.
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. London, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948.
The Talisman. A tale of the Crusades by Sir Walter Scott. London, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948.
Hereward the Wake by Charles Kingsley. London, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948.
Tenmeade and Weston Priory by Arthur Groom. London & New York, T. V. Boardman & Co., 1949.


  1. My name is sandra I have the book Albert the Ant by Richard ogle I was wondering if he wrote Algie the ant as well , a book i had as a child more a picture book beige cover maybe abaci size. i would love to have it agin can you help meadregards sandra

  2. Hi Sandra,

    I can't find any record of a book called Algie the Ant, nor any bookseller selling such a title. I'll keep an eye open for it.

  3. My name is Catherine. I own a copy of "The Three Musketeers" illustrated by R B Ogle. The book belonged to my father and i cannot find any publication date. Is the Richard Ogle on this site likely to be the same person, and is ther any way of discovering when the book was either published or printed?

  4. Catherine,

    Can you tell me the name of the publisher as that may help narrow down the edition.

  5. Hello Steve,
    I am just putting a book of music online - "Rhymes and Dances for Little Folk" by Celia Sparger; not dated, but possibly c. 1930's ? Although the attractive cover is by Marcia Lane Foster, there are various small line drawings internally (fairies, goblins etc)with the signature Ogle within a border. Do you feel this could be Richard ?

    Best wishes

    Mike Park

  6. Hi Mark,

    I can't promise, but it sounds very likely. Ogle had a very wide range, as can be seen from the list of books he illustrated.

  7. Ogle did the frontis illustration for Jack London's Valley of the Moon, published by Mills & Boon 1914



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