April 19, 2012

Hitching Your Wagon to a Star: The Illustrations of Pauline Baynes

Pauline Baynes was the woman who illustrated all of the Narnia books. She also illustrated Tolkien's Middle Earth, The Borrowers by Mary Norton and many others. But many only knew her for her work on the Narnia Chronicles.

"I think it's the fate of the illustrator," she would shrug. "Look at Ernest Shepherd. He was so brilliant and did so much fine work, but people only associate him with Pooh and Piglet, and Toad of Toad Hall. It's the penalty of hitching your wagon to a star."

She believed Lewis to be rather indifferent to her work. "I think he saw them as just a necessary part of a children's book." The author and illustrator only had a couple of awkward meetings in all the years they worked together but apparently Lewis once told George Sayer "Pauline is far too pretty.".


  1. I searched about Pauline Baynes when I first found out about her thanks to you.

    Felt for her drawings and her way in illustration. Everytime I get mad at drawings and I feel I don't know how to draw anymore I just think of her and her drawings.. how wonderful those are..

    I read somewhere (and I don't know whether it is true or not) that actually Lewis was inspired to start writing Narnia by an image that he had in mind.. and when she made that drawing of Lucy and Tumnus it was almost the exact drawing of that image.. so I guess he did care about her drawings.

    at least that's how I felt about it.. And I can't really believe that he did not care, 'cos when you wanna put an illustration to something you've done, you want it to fit the feeling you had about it.. I think I would care, and so, I'd choose illustrations that suited my writing.

    Gonna read the articles now.. thanks. :)

  2. Very surprised that she illustrated Tolkien as well as Lewis!! Two of my favourite authors x