MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL (1879-1964)

Mabel Lucie Attwell
Mabel Lucie Attwell, SWA (1879-1964)



Mabel Lucie Attwell developed her own imaginative, and often amusing, imagery through annuals and postcards. read more...

Mabel Lucie Attwell
Mabel Lucie Attwell, SWA (1879-1964)

Mabel Lucie Attwell developed her own imaginative, and often amusing, imagery through annuals and postcards. Then, as her popularity increased, she applied it to a wide range of products. She was a household name by the 1920s, by which time no home was complete without an Attwell plaque or money-box biscuit-tin.

The daughter of a butcher, Mabel Lucie Attwell was born in Mile End, London, on 4 June 1879. She was educated privately and at the Coopers’ Company Coborn School, in the Bow Road, where she showed an early talent for art. She funded her own studies at Heatherley’s and St Martin’s School of Art (1895-1900), and met her future husband, painter and illustrator, Harold Earnshaw, while at the latter. However, disliking the formal training, she completed neither course, and turned with some relief to contributions to periodicals and commissions for illustrated gift books. Influences on her work included her friend, Hilda Cowham, and such members of the London Sketch Club as John Hassall and William Heath Robinson. After her husband lost his arm, through active service in the First World War, she became the mainstay of the family. In 1922, she produced the first of her hugely successful children’s annuals. Three years later, she was elected to the Society of Women Artists. A rapid and prolific worker, with a keen business sense, Attwell also designed cards, posters, calendars, figurines and wall plaques, and saw her creations turned into crockery patterns and soft toys.

For most of her career, Attwell lived between London and Sussex with her husband. Following his death (in 1937) and bomb damage to her two London homes (in 1940), she moved to Foxfold, Wiltshire. At the end of the Second World War, she settled in Fowey, Cornwall, with her son Peter as a companion, and remained there until her death on 5 November 1964. Her business was carried on by her daughter, Marjorie (known as Peggy).


Chris Beetles’ biography of Mabel Lucie Attwell, published by Pavilion Books in 1985, sold out in hardback, and is now published in paperback by Chris Beetles Ltd.

Further reading:
Brian Alderson (rev), ‘Attwell [married name Earnshaw], Mabel Lucie (1879-1964)’, H C G Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds),
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, vol 2, pages 885-887

FairiesTeaChildrenFood & Drink
Humour & SatireSportsDogsBirds
Fairy & FantasyChristmasReligionAnimals
Illustrations   
MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB

ARITHMETIC   OR HOW THE FAIRIES WENT AWAY by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

ARITHMETIC  OR HOW THE FAIRIES WENT AWAY

COME AND HAVE A CUP OF TEA
EVERY DAY YOU LIKES WITH ME! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

COME AND HAVE A CUP OF TEA EVERY DAY YOU LIKES WITH ME!

I LOV'S YOU! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

I LOV'S YOU!

I DO LOVE YOU SO by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

I DO LOVE YOU SO

LITTLE OLE LADY! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

LITTLE OLE LADY!

EVERY NIGHT-TIME THIS I SAY, BEFORE I SNUGGLE DOWN,
'HAVE I DONE MY BEST TODAY,
BEEN QUITE KIND, AN' BRAVE, AN' GAY,
OR SPOILT THINGS WITH A FROWN?'
AND, IF RIGHT IN MY HEART OF HEARTS,
I FEEL I'VE CAUSED SOME SORROW,
I SAY TO ME, 'COME SHED NO TEAR,
BUT  by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

EVERY NIGHT-TIME THIS I SAY, BEFORE I SNUGGLE DOWN, 'HAVE I DONE MY BEST TODAY, BEEN QUITE KIND, AN' BRAVE, AN' GAY, OR SPOILT THINGS WITH A FROWN?' AND, IF RIGHT IN MY HEART OF HEARTS, I FEEL I'VE CAUSED SOME SORROW, I SAY TO ME, 'COME SHED NO TEAR, BUT

THE ANGEL'S VISIT by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

THE ANGEL'S VISIT

OLIVE'S NIGHT TIME VIGIL WITH THE FAIRIES by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

OLIVE'S NIGHT TIME VIGIL WITH THE FAIRIES

FROM BETWEEN THE ROOTS OF A HUGE TREE APPEARED A LITTLE MAN by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

FROM BETWEEN THE ROOTS OF A HUGE TREE APPEARED A LITTLE MAN

PIXIES, PIXIES I DECLARE!
ON MY BIBS AND EVERYWHERE by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

PIXIES, PIXIES I DECLARE! ON MY BIBS AND EVERYWHERE

BOO BOO DANCING WITH OWL by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

BOO BOO DANCING WITH OWL

TWENTY LADIES IN WHITE AND GREEN by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

TWENTY LADIES IN WHITE AND GREEN

TAKE JUST ONE BITE, HOVIS, YOUR BAKER BAKES IT! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

TAKE JUST ONE BITE, HOVIS, YOUR BAKER BAKES IT!

ONE MORNING   VERY EARLY! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

ONE MORNING VERY EARLY!

THE LORD CHANCELLOR MADE A LONG SPEECH by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

THE LORD CHANCELLOR MADE A LONG SPEECH

PHYSICAL JERKS   PHYSICAL JERKS
TRY 'EM OL'E DARLIN'
AN' SEE HOW THEY WORKS! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

PHYSICAL JERKS PHYSICAL JERKS TRY 'EM OL'E DARLIN' AN' SEE HOW THEY WORKS!

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER

ICE SKATING by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

ICE SKATING

GOING THROUGH LIFE WITH A SMILE   A SONG   
AN' HELPING ONE'S FELLOW MAN ALONG! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

GOING THROUGH LIFE WITH A SMILE A SONG AN' HELPING ONE'S FELLOW MAN ALONG!

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