Spurrier, Steven

Born in London on 13 July 1878, Steven Spurrier was apprenticed to his silversmith father, studying in the evenings at Heatherley’s School of Art. He became a freelance magazine illustrator and a regular contributor to The Graphic, The Illustrated London News and later The Radio Times as well as many international newspapers and magazines. He also produced posters for theatrical productions and illustrated books. He painted and was exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1913. Working with pencil and paper or watercolours, his subjects included circus performers, street scenes, fashion, ladies of leisure, soldiers in uniform, golfers and Russian dancers. One of his early paintings was bought by the Empress of Russia. During the First World War, he worked with the Admiralty developing Norman Wilkinson’s dazzle camouflage for ships. In 1930 Spurrier produced illustrations for Swallows and Amazons, the first book in the children's series by Arthur Ransome, published by Jonathan Cape. Ransome disliked them and they were rejected except for the dust jacket and map. Later editions had illustrations by Clifford Webb and then famously by Ransome himself. Steven Spurrier died on 11 March 1961.
Swallows and Amazons, 1st edn 1930 (Arthur Ransome)This title was first published in 1930 with jacket, title page vignette, a map of Wild Cat Island and endpaper map by Steven Spurrier (misspelt as Stephen), whose other illustrations Ransome disliked so much that he asked the publisher, Jonathan Cape, to omit them.

Jacket illustration by Steven Spurrier.

ReproJacket #432-A-1, size 205.7x461mm.