Charles George Harper

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Charles George Harper
Charles George Harper
Charles George Harper
Sketch magazine, 30th Sep 1896
Born 1863
Marylebone, London
Died 1943
Petersham, London
Nationality British
Known for Self-illustrated travel books
Style Pen drawing
File:C G Harper - Dunster castle and Yarn Market.JPG
Dunster castle and yarn market (From "The Somerset coast")

Charles George Harper (1863 – 1943) was an English author and illustrator. Born in London, England, Harper wrote many self-illustrated travel books, exploring the regions, roads, coastlines, literary connections, old inns etc. of Britain. In later life, he lived in Petersham.

Aside from the some 170 topographical works, he also wrote a few books on drawing and its techniques, including English Pen Artists of To-day (1892) and A Practical Handbook of Drawing for Modern Methods of Reproduction (1894), as well as an anti-feminist polemic, Revolted Woman; past, present, and to come (1894), and a satirical novel, Hearts Do Not Break: a Tale of the Lower Slopes (1896), attacking logrolling among the London literary set.

Critical assessment

R. E. D. Sketchley’s English book-illustration of to-day (1903) characterised Harper’s travel books as “… written and drawn with spirited observation. His drawing is not so picturesque as his writing. It has reticence and justness of expression that would not serve in relating tales of the road, but which, together with a sense of colour and of what is pictorial, combine to form an effective and frequently distinctive style of illustration”.

N. W. Webster’s article The English traveller (1974) describes him as “more a capable draughtsman than a creative artist, although his books would lose much without his delightful sketches”.

Published works (selected)

Further reading

  • Sketchley, R. E. D. English book-illustration of to-day (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and co., 1903), pp 47–48.
  • Webster, N. W. The English traveller: Charles G. Harper, 1863-1943 (Antiquarian Book Monthly Review, issue 16, 1974).
  • Charles Baker. British book illustrators 1860 – 1900 - A bibliography (Birmingham bookshop, 1978).

External links