Mr L. Raven-Hill

L-Raven-Hill.pngLeonard Raven-Hill, 66, (1867-1942), artist, illustrator, cartoonist, contributing to Punch and many other magazines. He illustrated the works of many notable writers, included J. K. Jerome, H.G. Wells and Kipling and was with Punch for four decades, from 1895 to 1935.[1] He was joined at the dinner by his wife Marion Jean Lyon, who was on Table 5 accompanying his daughter-in-law, Marguerite, Mrs Lucian Ennar Raven-Hill. He was one of the eight speakers at the dinner, though what he said has yet to surface. Along with Arthur Watts, Mrs George Watts (no relation, as far as I know, and still a slight mystery guest), Clare Leighton and Alice Burton, he was one of the half-dozen or so visual artists at the dinner.

LEONARD’S STORY SO FAR

Leonard Raven-Hill was born Leonard Hill at 18 New Bond Street, Bath, Somerset, on 10th March 1867, the son of Anne Scott, (1843-74), daughter of a Devizes linen draper and William Hill, (1842-1928), a master umbrella maker. He was educated as a day boy at the old Bristol grammar school and then at the Devon county school. He studied at the Lambeth School of Art, and at the Académie Julian in Paris. He exhibited his paintings at the Salon, the Royal Academy (1889), the New English Art Club, and the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours, but was inclined more towards pen and ink work, which became the basis of his career as a cartoonist. And whilst we are thinking of dinner, it has been noted that in 1889 he was among those included in the preliminary preparations for a meal to be held at the Criterion on 1 May in celebration of Whistler’s honorary membership of the Royal Academy in Munich. [2]

He served as a volunteer with the 2nd Wiltshire voluntary battalion , which gave him plenty of material to work with. He contributed his joke cartoons, theatrical caricatures, and illustrations to many publications including Judy, Daily Graphic, Black & White, Butterfly, Pall Mall Budget, Illustrated London News, Minister, Rambler, Sketch, Fun, Graphic, St Paul’s, Pearson’s Magazine, Pall Mall Magazine and Nutshell. New methods of mechanical reproduction and the appearance of ‘light papers’ came just at the right time.

Punch
Motor Fiend. “WHY DON’T YOU GET OUT OF THE WAY?”
Victim. “WHAT! ARE YOU COMING BACK!”
L.Raven-Hill, Punch. or the London Charivari 12th December 1900 Vol 119 page 427

In 1890 he was appointed the art editor of Pick-Me-Up and was largely responsible for its success, and became a founder joint editor of the Butterfly (1893), a highly regarded artistic periodical. His reputation led to his first drawing in Punch on 28th December 1895. In his long career at Punch he excelled at both political and social cartoons. Amongst the latter, motor car incidents was one of his favourite subjects: this is one of my favourites, from 12th December 1900, just before he joined the staff of Punch.

In 1889 he married Annie (1867 – 1922), daughter of Mark Rogers, a woodcarver. Following her death, he married Marion Jean Lyon in 1923, herself breaking the glass ceiling when appointed advertising editor of Punch in 1922. Did they meet at the office party? When she was 16 did this cartoon of 13th March 1901 inspire her to change the world?

Donald.png
Donald (who has picked up the fair Cyclist’s handkerchief). “Hi! WOMAN! WOMAN!
Fair Cyclist (indignantly). “WOMAN! HOW DARE YOU – “
Donald (out of breath). “I BEG YOUR PARDON, SIR! I THOUGHT YOU WAS A WOMAN. I DIDNA SEE YOUR TREWS”

He illustrated several books including Kipling’s Stalky and Co., and H. G. Wells’s Kipps. His own publications included The Promenaders (1894), Our Battalion (1902), and An Indian Sketch-Book (1904).

WHAT LEONARD DID NEXT

Leonard retired from Punch in 1935, his eyesight failing.

Leonard-Marion.png

He died at Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 31st March 1942. Marion predeceased him, in 1940. His first ODNB biographer, Edmund George Valpy Knox – “Evoe” – Editor of Punch, from 1932 to 1949 wrote “He was convivial, irascible, and often inarticulate in speech as he was eloquent with his pen. Failing eyesight made his later work so far inferior to his best that his talent has sometimes been misjudged”.[3]

BACK TO TOP TABLE


[1] Wikipedia Leonard Raven-Hill

[2] University of Glasgow, The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, Leonard Raven-Hill; website accessed 21.4.2019

[3] Leonard Raven Hill by E. V. Knox , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, from the archive edition based on an unpublished autobiography by Leonard and biographer’s personal knowledge. Accessed 21.4.2019

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