THE ILLUSTRATORS 2017 : BENTLEY, NICOLAS FRSA FSIA (1907-1978)

The son of writer E C Bentley, Nicolas Bentley was born in Highgate, London. He was educated at University College School, London, and studied at Hetherley’s School of Art before beginning to work as a freelance writer and illustrator. read more...
The son of writer E C Bentley, Nicolas Bentley was born in Highgate, London. He was educated at University College School, London, and studied at Hetherley’s School of Art before beginning to work as a freelance writer and illustrator. After a period in British Intelligence during the First World War, he developed a freelance career and entered the established world of publishing, in 1950 as Director of André Deutsch. He also worked as an editor for Sunday Times Publications Ltd (1962-63) and Thomas Nelson & Sons (1963-67). His many books include three novels and an autobiography, A Version of the Truth (1950).

Bentley established himself as an illustrator in 1930 when a friend of his father, Hilaire Belloc, asked him to work on an edition of
New Cautionary Tales. The strikingly simple black and white style that he had already evolved by that time was later, and most famously, used in lively counterpoint for T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1941) and his father’s clerihews. He drew the dialy pocket cartoon for the Daily Mail and produced caricatures for Punch, the Sunday Telegraph and Private Eye. He was elected FSIA (1946) and FRSA (1974).

Key works illustrated: T S Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1941); E C Bentley, Clerihews Complete (1951)
THE RICH ARRIVED IN PAIRS
AND ALSO IN ROLLS ROYCES;
THEY TALKED OF THEIR AFFAIRS
IN LOUD AND STRIDENT VOICES by NICOLAS BENTLEY

THE RICH ARRIVED IN PAIRS AND ALSO IN ROLLS ROYCES; THEY TALKED OF THEIR AFFAIRS IN LOUD AND STRIDENT VOICES

THE PEOPLE IN BETWEEN
LOOKED UNDERDONE AND HARASSED,
AND OUT OF PLACE AND MEAN,
AND HORRIBLY EMBARRASSED by NICOLAS BENTLEY

THE PEOPLE IN BETWEEN LOOKED UNDERDONE AND HARASSED, AND OUT OF PLACE AND MEAN, AND HORRIBLY EMBARRASSED

THERE IS A LITERARY MAN,
WHOSE NAME IS HERBERT KEANES:
HIS COAT IS LINED WITH ASTRACHAN.
HE LIVES ON PRIVATE MEANS by NICOLAS BENTLEY

THERE IS A LITERARY MAN, WHOSE NAME IS HERBERT KEANES: HIS COAT IS LINED WITH ASTRACHAN. HE LIVES ON PRIVATE MEANS

HIS HOUSE IS IN ST JAMES'S SQUARE
(WHICH I COULD NOT AFFORD).
HIS HEAD IS STRONG BUT SHORT OF HAIR,
HIS UNCLE IS A LORD by NICOLAS BENTLEY

HIS HOUSE IS IN ST JAMES'S SQUARE (WHICH I COULD NOT AFFORD). HIS HEAD IS STRONG BUT SHORT OF HAIR, HIS UNCLE IS A LORD

THIS UNCLE LOVES HIM LIKE A SON
AND HAS BEEN HEARD TO VOW
HE WILL BE FAMOUS LATER ON
AND EVEN MIGHT BE NOW by NICOLAS BENTLEY

THIS UNCLE LOVES HIM LIKE A SON AND HAS BEEN HEARD TO VOW HE WILL BE FAMOUS LATER ON AND EVEN MIGHT BE NOW

FIRST WITH A PRIVATE TUTOR, THEN
AT ETON HERBERT KEANES,
LIKE OTHER STRONG SUCCESSFUL MEN,
WAS NURTURED IN HIS TEENS by NICOLAS BENTLEY

FIRST WITH A PRIVATE TUTOR, THEN AT ETON HERBERT KEANES, LIKE OTHER STRONG SUCCESSFUL MEN, WAS NURTURED IN HIS TEENS

TO CURIOUS DONS HE NEXT WOULD PAY
HIS TRIFLING ENTRANCE FEE,
AND WAS ACCEPTED, STRANGE TO SAY,
BY THOSE AT TRINITY:
TALL TRINITY WHEREBY THE CAM
ITS AWFUL TORRENT ROLLS,
BUT THERE! - I DO NOT CARE A DAMN,
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ALL SOULS by NICOLAS BENTLEY

TO CURIOUS DONS HE NEXT WOULD PAY HIS TRIFLING ENTRANCE FEE, AND WAS ACCEPTED, STRANGE TO SAY, BY THOSE AT TRINITY: TALL TRINITY WHEREBY THE CAM ITS AWFUL TORRENT ROLLS, BUT THERE! - I DO NOT CARE A DAMN, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ALL SOULS

HAS SAT FOR PUTTICOMBE IN KENT
BUT LOST THE SEAT HE WON
BY BOLDLY SAYING WHAT HE MEANT
THOUGH MEANING HE HAD NONE by NICOLAS BENTLEY

HAS SAT FOR PUTTICOMBE IN KENT BUT LOST THE SEAT HE WON BY BOLDLY SAYING WHAT HE MEANT THOUGH MEANING HE HAD NONE

LADIES FROM THE STREETS.
A STRONG PROTECTIONIST, BELIEVES
IN EVERYTHING BUT HEAVEN.
FOR ENTERTAINMENT, DINES, RECIEVES,
UNMARRIED. 57 by NICOLAS BENTLEY

LADIES FROM THE STREETS. A STRONG PROTECTIONIST, BELIEVES IN EVERYTHING BUT HEAVEN. FOR ENTERTAINMENT, DINES, RECIEVES, UNMARRIED. 57