Walter Crane
The Absurd ABC
(Routledge, 1874)
12806.f.1   25x36 cm

Absurd ABC
  Children’s books

Walter Crane (1845-1915) was an influential Arts and Crafts designer and illustrator, a socialist and friend of William Morris. He had no formal artistic training, but served an apprenticeship with the London engraver, W. J. Linton, illustrating dress catalogues and drawing animals at the zoo. The sixpenny toy books, produced by Edmund Evans for Routledge, are amongst his best known work. Michel Chevreul, whose book The Laws of Contrast of Colour first appeared in English in 1861, pointed out that black had the effect of making adjacent colours seem brighter. (Another of Crane's toy books is shown in the section on book illustration.)