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Past Images of the Month

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The Pantomimes, ILN, 1845.

The Pantomimes, ILN, 1845.

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Alfred Crowquill and Christmas


Alfred Crowquill was the pseudonym of Alfred Henry Forrester (b. London, 10 September 1804; d. London, 26 May 1872), illustrator, caricaturist and writer. The son and brother of public notaries in the City of London, he worked in the family business until his mid-thirties, but began publishing illustrations at an early age. Now best known as a wood engraver, with a rich vein of grotesque fantasy which helps to define the Victorian age, Crowquill contributed extensively to Bentley’s Miscellany, Punch and The Illustrated London News and over a period of almost fifty years illustrated numerous books by himself (mainly children’s stories) and other writers. He also wrote and designed burlesques and pantomimes, modelled portrait sculpture and worked as a photographer for Clarkington’s in Regent Street. According to his Times obituary he "could dash off a little tale with rare humour, infuse much spirit into a song, and win the attention of children ...."  He died at 3 Portland Place North, Clapham Road and is buried in West Norwood Cemetery.

(Please click the thumbnails below to view larger image)

The Yule Log. [Words by Alfred Crowquill. Music by Thomas Baker.] W. H. Hammond: London [c.1855]. Christmas. [Words by Alfred Crowquill. Music by Thomas Baker.] W. H. Hammond: London [c.1855]. A Christmas Piece by Henry Brinley Richards. W. H. Hammond: London [c.1859].

The Christmas Pantomimes, ILN, 1842.

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The Christmas Pantomimes, ILN, 1842.

Scene from the Pantomime of Harlequin and Good Queen Bess, at Drury-Lane Theatre, ILN, 1849. Scene from the Christmas Pantomime of Moon Queen and King Night, at the Surrey Theatre. - Arrival of the Baron, ILN, 1849. Scene from the Pantomime of King Jamie; or, Harlequin and the Magic Fiddle, ILN, 1849.