Every Book Has A Story

In the front of the novel To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston, I located a page that advertised prior books written by Johnston and listed the illustrators of the eight illustrations within the novel.


To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston

Howard Pyle, the lead illustrator of this novel, was born in 1853. During his lifetime, he was one of America’s most popular illustrators and was considered a celebrity in the Golden Age of American Illustration. The New York Times dubbed him the “father of American magazine illustration as it is known today,” and Harold von Schmidt wrote that he was “probably the greatest illustrator America has ever produced.”

Pyle was a respected author in addition to illustrating and wrote The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood although he primarily researched pirates in the New World. Society’s mental image of pirate appearances stem from his once famous book titled the Book of Pirates.

Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

As a matter of fact, Pyle played a large role in the record-breaking film series Pirates of the Caribbean, which featured Johnny Depp. As mentioned below in the YouTube video produced by the University of Delaware, the art department and other crew of the film researched and explored Pyle’s illustrations in order to depict the pirates within the film.

In addition, the highly regarded frontispiece of this novel, which was done by Pyle, was later used as a front cover in a later edition of the book. to have

In 1894, Pyle began teaching courses at Drexel Institute of Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia, which is now known as Drexel University. The three other illustrators listed in To Have and to Hold were students of Howard Pyle, and Anna Whelan Betts, Emlen McConnell, and Ellen Bernard Thompson later became well-known illustrators thanks to his teaching. Betts was most known for her paintings of Victorian women in romantic settings, and in the early 1900’s, her paintings appeared in numerous magazines including Harper’s Bazaar. McConnell produced charcoal drawings, which were also printed in magazines at the time. Last but not least, Ellen Bernard Thompson was another talented illustrator and interesting character. While studying with Pyle, she was introduced to his married brother, Walter. His wife died years later, and Ellen and Walter ended up marrying shortly after. He was seventeen years her senior.

Howard Pyle and the Illustrated Story

No Small Feat: Reimagining Howard Pyle’s Work


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