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Evelyn Paul (1883-1963)

Books; Biographic Sketch; Career Notes; Bibliography; Additional Resources

The Books

Aucassin & Nicolete (includes music scores) New
Clair de Lune

La Vita Nuova
Myths & Legends of Japan New
Tristam and Isoude
The Birth of England

Biographic Sketch

Evelyn Maude Blanche Paul was born November 4, 1883, at 30 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, North London, England, to Robert Boyd Paul and Annie McGlashan.

Robert Boyd Paul (Nov. 26, 1819-? before 1911) was an portrait painter born at Cumberbnauld in Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
He was 62 years old when Evelyn was born. Robert's first wife, Carolyn Mathew, had died several months previous to the marriage in 1882. It is unknown if there were any children from the first marriage.

Annie McGlashan was born in 1858 at Gibraltar where her father (John McGlashan, of Edinburgh, Scotland) was stationed at the time as an Army Sargent. Evelyn's mother, Annie McGlashan, was the 2nd wife of Robert B. Paul. They were married at Dover where Annie's father was stationed at that time. Annie McGlashan was about 24 years old at the time of her marriage to Robert Boyd Paul in 1882

At the time of the 1891 Census, Evelyn was aged 7. Little "Evie" is noted as living with her parents at 30 Torriano Avenue in Kentish Town, London.(census ref. Class: RG12; Piece: 140; Folio 73; Page 28).

For the 1901 Census, Evelyn is living with her parents at 48 Hillmarton Road, Lower Holloway (less than a mile from Torriano Ave.).
She is recorded as aged 17 and "attending school of art", Camden School of Art.
  • 1906: About age 22 or 23, Evelyn Paul participated in the The National Competition of Schools of Art.
    (census ref. Class RG13; Piece: 171; Folio: 30; Page: 9).
  • On June 1, 1911, age 27, Evelyn married Alexander George Small (aged 36) at the St. Pancras Registrar Office in the presence of her mother, Annie Paul, and Mr. Charles R. Hren. Alexander George Small (1875/76-1923) was a painter/sculptor and the son of another painter, William Small (1843-1929) whose paintings include: The Last March or Match. By the time of her marriage, Evelyn had again been living at 30 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, where she'd been born.
  • 1923: After 12 years of marriage, Alexander died during the first half 1923 in the St Pancras district of north London.
  • 1963: Forty years later, Evelyn Maude Blanche Paul died on January 29th, at Saint Pancras Hospital, S.E. St. Pancras District, North London, England. Death is ascribed to bronchopneumonia.
Illuminated Books is indebted to Mr. Simon Kidner, Evelyn Paul's first cousin (once removed), for contacting our online library with solid information that was heretofore unavailable. They fuel the imagination with a tantalizing outline of a unique and beautiful artist. The photo of Evelyn Paul was also provided by Mr. Kidner with his express permission for publication, along with a condensation of the biographical data he, also, posts at his own web site.
If you wish to correct your own web site's information on Evelyn Paul, please make a link to this and/or Simon Kidner's site ( ). Permission to take and/or re-publish the photograph of Evelyn Paul is not granted, except by express permission from Mr. Simon Kidder.

Career Notes

The first evidence of Evelyn Paul as an illustrator is in the 1906 article in "The Studio" magazine wherein her work merited the attention of a review of the 1906 National Competition of Schools of Art in which Evelyn was a participant (see below “The Studio” extract); from this article, we know that she was a pupil at the Camden School of Art in Islington which was, according to C. Sweeney of the Islington Library and Cultural Services, at the time, run by the London County Council. Regarding the location of Islington, it is a part of London’s northern inner-city and is often referred to as the Islington Borough. There exists as well the London borough of Camden. ( At the time that Evelyn Paul was a student there, the area was predominantly poor and working class. It is only since WWII, when Islington was severely destroyed, that the area has been renovated and gentrified. It is likely that the Camden School of Art was one of the many art schools in the system know as the South Kensington Schools of Art (see below for more detail description). One is referred to the London Metropolitan Archives for any further information but, at this time, no keyword searches produce results relevant to Evelyn Paul at the archive’s online search engine. (


  • An extract (pg. 317) from a contemporary (1906) article reviewing the an art competition entered by Evelyn Paul titled “The National Competition of Schools of Art, 1906, by Aymer Vallance in The Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, Vol. 38, London Offices of the Studio XLIV, Leicester Square, MCMVI, pp. 309-319:
    “In the way, however, of straight forward penwork, suitable for process blocks, is a set of seven illustrations by Miss Paul, of the Camden School, Islington, one of which, depicting a young girl reading, is here given (Fig. 22); while another example (Fig.24) is taken from a set of somewhat Spanish-looking subjects by Mr. Montes of the Camberwell School.”
  • From the Dictionary of British Book Illustrators, The Twentieth Century, Brigid Peppin & Lucy Micklethwait, John Murray (Publisher), London, 1983, pg. 228, (listing 13 titles containing her work –see below) there is the following entry:
    “Evelyn Paul (active 1910-22): Studied at the South Kensington Schools and worked as an illustrator and illuminator. Her work as a conventional illustrator, in Cranford for example, was hampered by her shaky grasp of perspective. Where spatial recession was not needed, she could be much more convincing, as in her vaguely oriental color illustrations for Myths and Legends of Japan. She was at her best with linear, Celtic-style illuminations, seen in the title-page and decorative borders of The Romance of Tristram of Lyones and La Belle Isoude.”
  • From The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, 1800-1914, with introductory chapters on the Rise and Progress of the Art, by Simon Houfe, rev. Ausgabe, Woodbridge/Suffolk, 1981., pg. 411, there is this entry:
    Paul, Evelyn (Fl. 1906-1911): Illustrator. She studied at South Kensington in about 1906 and exhibited in the National Competition that year.
  • One internet source ( ) has stated that she “studied at the South Kensington School of Art” but there was no such art school per se. That nomenclature refers to the British government system of art school instruction that included hundreds of schools throughout the United Kingdom. They were the National Art Training Schools of South Kensington. These schools were ultimately managed from government offices located in South Kensington. And so arose the nomenclature of the Kensington School of Art to describe a proscribed method of art instruction. It was a rigorous program that was rejected among some art circles as too stifling of creativity. John Ruskin was one artist and teacher who opened an independent school of his own. The system was in its formative years around the time of Evelyn Paul’s birth. In their earliest years, the schools were notable as primarily schools for young ladies and/or ancillary schools that advanced the quality of British manufacturing, e.g. pottery and china production. By the time that Evelyn Paul would have attended an art school within the Kensington system, many of them had grown up to be reputable institutions for high art learning. See also related
  • “ The illustrator Evelyn Paul studied at South Kensington School of Art. The picture on display is adapted from Rossetti’s Dante’s dream at the time of the death of Beatrice (1856). However, Paul’s Beatrice is modeled on the Elizabeth Siddal of Rossetti’s Beata Beatrix rather than Mrs James Hannay, who sat for Beatrice in Dante’s dream. - CUL 1916.9.85, pp. 94–95” ., April 12, 2007

Evelyn Paul’s most beautiful book illustrations were done under publications from George G. Harrap and Company, Ltd. during the second decade of the 20th century. The Harrap Company specialized in historically significant literature. The company or its authors employed the help of printing press companies from all over Great Britain, including Scotland. Some of Evelyn Paul’s books are illuminated in a style reminiscent of old Celtic-French and Gothic illuminations of the Dark and Middle Ages. Illuminations were creative decisions that involved no small expense.


Today, there is a renewed interest among book collectors in those books that were illustrated by Evelyn Paul. Many of her books were published in the U.S. The following list of 19 illustrated book titles (some with hyperlinks) illustrated by Evelyn Paul provide initial U. K. publication years only:

  • Bertha Stories and stories told by her Uncle Gilbert (G. G. Desmond, 1904)
  • Cranford (Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, 1910)
  • Stories from Dante (S. Cunnington, 1910 & 1911)
  • The Birth of England (Estelle Ross, 1910)
  • From Conquest to Charter (Estelle Ross, 1911)
  • Stories of Indian Gods and Heroes (William Douglas Monro, 1911)
  • Myths and Legends of the Middle Ages ( Guerber, 1911)
  • Myths and Legends of Japan (Fredrick H. Davis, 1912 & 1920)
  • The Romance of Tristram of Lyones and La Belle Isoude (Michael West, 1913)
  • The Valley of Shadows (J.Francis Grierson, pseud, 1913)
  • Stories of Egyptian Gods and Heroes (Frank Henry Brooksbank, 1914)
  • Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt (James L.T.C. Spence, 1915)
  • Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria (James L.T.C. Spence, 1916)
  • La Vita Nuova [The New Life] (Dante Alighieri /1916)
  • Aucassin and Nicolete , Done from the Old French (Michael West, 1917)
  • Clair de Lune and Other Troubadour Romances (Michael West, 1921)
  • The Cloister and the Hearth (Charles Reade, 1922)
  • Legends of Ancient Egypt ( Frank Henry Brooksbank, 1923)
  • Warne’s Pleasure Book for Girls (W.J. Gorden, 1928)

Additional Resources- for further research on the South Kensington School of Art

1) On the Internet: Oxford University Archive Holdings
The system was staged in levels of difficulty and ‘appropriateness’, life drawing not beginning until stage 11 and use of any artistic medium other than pencil until stage 13. This school was founded in 1865 and membership was a mixture of artisans wishing to improve their technical skills, ladies (chiefly daughters of dons) and a few undergraduates. The head of the school was Alexander McDonald. John Ruskin disliked the ‘South Kensington’ System believing that it crushed the imagination.

2) Article: Jeanne Sheehy (1997)
The Flight from South Kensington: British artists at the Antwerp Academy 1877-1885
Art History 20 (1), 124–153. doi:10.1111/1467-8365.00048
From the 1870s onwards the majority of painters in the British Isles had some training in the Schools of Art in the government system, administered from South Kensington, London. However, these schools provided only elementary training; more specialized ones like the Royal Academy and the Slade in London had limited places; and there was a general feeling that any serious artistic training had to be completed abroad. Although Paris was the favourite destination, a surprisingly large number went to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp (British and American students, their origin, age and date of registration are listed), mostly to attend the antique and life classes. At Antwerp time limits in the drawing classes, and an introduction to the Flemish colourist tradition, freed many of them from the excessively high finish insisted upon in the British schools. Unlike the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, still fixed in the neo-classical tradition, the Antwerp Academy also had clothed models, for the benefit of genre painters, and there was also a course in landscape and animal painting. The Academy, combining elements of French, German and Flemish schools, introduced British artists to the broader currents in European painting.

3) All locations, including street addresses, may be found online at MapQuest - UK

– Anita Malchiodi Albedi -2007 (revised 2008)

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