The Lady of Shalott illustrated by Emma Florence Harrison

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT // Emma Florence Harrison: An Enigmatic Early 20th Century Illustrator

Little is known about the personal life of Emma Florence Harrison (1877–1955), an English artist known for her romantic, Pre-Raphaelite style. Even the years of her birth and death (either 1925 or 1955) are disputed. There is however some information on her working life. I hope you enjoy this window into her career as an illustrator!

Illustration from Maiden Song (1910) by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Maiden Song (1910) by Emma Florence Harrison

Florence worked professionally as Florence Harrison. She may have had a formal art education. One source said that she attended the Glasgow School of Art where Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair, and Margaret & Frances Macdonald studied. It is documented that she exhibited her art at the Royal Academy in London from 1887 – 1891.

Illustration from Rapunzel (1914) by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Rapunzel (1914) by Emma Florence Harrison

In 1905, Florence’s career as an illustrator began with a commission from Blackie and Sons. The publishing house hired her to illustrate a children’s book entitled Rhymes and Reasons. The book was so well received that she was commissioned to do another entitled The Rhyme of a Run. Florence’s work was featured in numerous books thereafter — including books written by the likes of Christina Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and William Morris. According to one source, she received £100 (approximately £8500 or $1400 at today’s values) for In the Fairy Ring. There is no record that she was ever married, so it is likely that she made a living through her career as an artist and illustrator.

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

You can find a number of online sources featuring her illustrations from publications including:

  • Rhymes and Reasons (1906)
  • The Rhyme of a Run – 21 plates (1907)
  • In the Fairy Ring – 24 plates (1908)
  • Poems of Christina Rossetti – 36 plates (1910)
  • Dream of Fair Women and Other Poems by Tennyson – 8 plates (1910)
  • Tennyson’s Guinevere and Other Poems – 24 plates (1912)
  • Elfin Song: A Book of Verse and Pictures – 12 plates (1912)
  • Early Poems of William Morris – 16 plates (1914)
  • Tales in Rhyme and Colour – 23 plates (1916)
  • Tinkler Johnny by Agnes Grozier Herbertson (1916)
  • Poems by S. Ferguson – 4 b & w plates (1916)
  • The Man in the Moon and Other Verses (1917)
  • The Pixy Book – 12 plates (1918)
  • House of Bricks by Agnes Grozier Herbertson – 4 plates, 20 b & w (1918)
  • Godmother’s Garden by Netta Syrett – 4 plates (1920)
  • Beautiful Poems (1923)
  • Light of Love
Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

If you want to look into collecting one of the books she illustrated, I would suggest that you take a look at what is available on ebay. It also appears that original works sometimes come up for sale through auction houses (although be warned that they may be upwards of $10,000). More of her illustrations are included below!

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Elfin Song by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Elfin Song by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Dream Land (1910) by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration from Dream Land (1910) by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

A Birthday (1910) illustrated by Emma Florence Harrison

Illustration by Emma Florence Harrison

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One comment on "ARTIST SPOTLIGHT // Emma Florence Harrison: An Enigmatic Early 20th ..."

  1. These are wonderful! I’d never heard of her before, I’m very sorry to say. Just gorgeous work, I’d dearly love to have any of these on my wall.

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