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

FairiesChildrenDiningSupernatural
AdvertisingFood & DrinkHumour & SatireCartoons
DogsCatsFairy & FantasyChristmas
HouseworkCookingHorsesReligion & Belief
Illustrations   
SUCH A SURPRISE! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

SUCH A SURPRISE!

THE PRINCESS WHO LOST HER APPETITE by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

THE PRINCESS WHO LOST HER APPETITE

I THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD I EAT, MY BREAD AN' MILK AN' PLUMMY DUFF
BUT COULD YOU AS A SPECIAL TREAT GO EASY WITH BOILED RICE AND STUFF? by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

I THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD I EAT, MY BREAD AN' MILK AN' PLUMMY DUFF BUT COULD YOU AS A SPECIAL TREAT GO EASY WITH BOILED RICE AND STUFF?

IF I DON'T HEAR FROM YOU SOON – OL'DEAR –
MY MORALE WILL BEGIN TO GO QUEER! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

IF I DON'T HEAR FROM YOU SOON – OL'DEAR – MY MORALE WILL BEGIN TO GO QUEER!

I'LL BE READY FOR YOU by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

I'LL BE READY FOR YOU

WHOOPS-A-DAISY-YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A LUCKY BIRTHDAY by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

WHOOPS-A-DAISY-YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A LUCKY BIRTHDAY

HERE'S TO 1946
A HORSE SHOE FOR LUCK - WE ALL KNOW THAT - OF COURSE -
TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE LUCKY - HERE'S THE WHOLE HORSE
IF ONLY HORSE SHOE'S LUCKY HOW VERY MUCH MORE
LUCKY YOU'LL BE - COS' BY THIS YOU'LL HAVE FOUR by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

HERE'S TO 1946 A HORSE SHOE FOR LUCK - WE ALL KNOW THAT - OF COURSE - TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE LUCKY - HERE'S THE WHOLE HORSE IF ONLY HORSE SHOE'S LUCKY HOW VERY MUCH MORE LUCKY YOU'LL BE - COS' BY THIS YOU'LL HAVE FOUR

HOW AM I DOIN'? by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

HOW AM I DOIN'?

WE KNOW – EVERY DAY IT'S THE SAME OLD GRIND –
WITH COOKING AN' CLEANING AN' BABIES TO MIND –
 by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

WE KNOW – EVERY DAY IT'S THE SAME OLD GRIND – WITH COOKING AN' CLEANING AN' BABIES TO MIND –

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

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

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER

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!

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL 1963 by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

LUCIE ATTWELL'S ANNUAL 1963

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!

GOOD HOUSE WIFE --
LET US IN! by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

GOOD HOUSE WIFE -- LET US IN!

BLUE BAND MARGARINE
JUST LIKE BUTTER by MABEL LUCIE ATTWELL

BLUE BAND MARGARINE JUST LIKE BUTTER

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