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

FairiesAnimal CharactersTeaSkating
GiantsFairy TalesChildrenManual Work
PigsHumour & SatireSportsTransport
Fairy & FantasyChristmasFamilyHousework
AnimalsChildren's LiteratureIllustrations 
'I WILL CALL AT YOUR HOUSE FOR THEM' by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

'I WILL CALL AT YOUR HOUSE FOR THEM'

BIG GREEN EYES LOOKING UP AT YOU by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

BIG GREEN EYES LOOKING UP AT YOU

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL, 1958 by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL, 1958

MARY TOOK CARE OF MICHAEL by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

MARY TOOK CARE OF MICHAEL

HI! DON'T FORGET IF TROUBLE BETIDE
WHATEVER IT IS – I'M ON YOUR SIDE! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

HI! DON'T FORGET IF TROUBLE BETIDE WHATEVER IT IS – I'M ON YOUR SIDE!

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB

THE CHRISTMAS TREE by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

THE CHRISTMAS TREE

JUST TO REMIND YOU WE'RE MOVING by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

JUST TO REMIND YOU WE'RE MOVING

THERE'S ONE THING WORSE THAN BEING MARRIED – THAT'S NOT BEING MARRIED by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

THERE'S ONE THING WORSE THAN BEING MARRIED – THAT'S NOT BEING MARRIED

WOT I NEEDS – IS TO WIN A NICE LITTLE 'SWEEP!' by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

WOT I NEEDS – IS TO WIN A NICE LITTLE 'SWEEP!'

WOT'S THE GOOD OF HAVING A PERFECT DAY IF YOU CAN'T HAVE A PERFECT NIGHT? by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

WOT'S THE GOOD OF HAVING A PERFECT DAY IF YOU CAN'T HAVE A PERFECT NIGHT?

PETROL RATIONS – NUFFING! I'LL GET ALONG ALL RIGHT! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

PETROL RATIONS – NUFFING! I'LL GET ALONG ALL RIGHT!

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 DO LOVE YOU SO by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

I DO LOVE YOU SO

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

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 PICTURE TO PAINT
WHAT VERY LOVELY WORLD
THIS OLD WORLD CAN BE! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

A PICTURE TO PAINT WHAT VERY LOVELY WORLD THIS OLD WORLD CAN BE!

ONE MORNING – VERY EARLY! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

ONE MORNING – VERY EARLY!

ICE SKATING by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

ICE SKATING

SUCH A SURPRISE! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

SUCH A SURPRISE!

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