Book Covers –
Fairies and the Golden Age of Illustration (1880 – 1930)

The years from 1880 until 1930 are known as the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’. During that time, illustrations for fairy tales reached an unprecedented level of skills, content and volume. Book production in general expanded in both quality and quantity, inviting more and more artists to contribute illustrations. Also more women started illustrating due to the demand and opportunity. Many well know artists found success during this time, such as Walter Crane (considered the patriarch of the genre), Kate Greenaway, Anne Anderson, Edward Dulac, Aurthur Rackam, Charles Robinson, Ida Outhwaite and many more recognized names. Collectively they raised the awareness and appreciation of fine art illustration for the fairy tale genre, bringing the new ‘artform’ to a much higher recognition and value.

Included in the gallery below are various book covers from the treasure of fairy tale books written and published during that time. The titles are whimsical and imaginative, and reflect both new stories and age old tales. Fairy illustrations (of course) and related material (dragons, mermaids, elves) were a large portion of the illustrations, and much of the material on this site is sourced from these original publications.

References –

Library of Congress

Pook Press