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Florence Harrison (1877-1955)


Florence Susan Harrison (1877-1955)

Florence Harrison's fantasical illustrations for children combined Pre-Raphaelite influences with the practices of fin-de-siècle poster artists. Associated with the publisher, Blackie and Son, throughout her career, Florence Harrison's work ranged from illustrations of her own poetry for children, to Romantic literary texts by Rossetti, Tennyson and Morris, to one of her most celebrated creations, the 1912 book,
Elfin Song.

Florence Harrison was born on board the Windsor Castle, a ship bound from London to Brisbane, Australia, on 2 November 1877. She was the second daughter of Norwood Harrison, the ship’s captain, and his wife, Lucy. Though her father retired from active duties in 1882, Florence seems to have had a fairly peripatetic childhood. According to the official censuses: in 1881, she was staying at Rockhill House, Folkestone, Kent, a girls’ school run by Elizabeth Harrison, her maiden great-aunt; while, in 1901, she and her family – including two younger brothers – were living at 29 Colworth Road, Leyton, Essex.

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