Poets & Painters
William Morris ·
Howard Pyle ·
Pyle (1853-1911) is the most influential American
writer/illustrator of adventure fiction. The Merry
Adventures of Robin Hood (1883), Howard
Pyle's Book of Pirates, and Pyle's four-volume retelling of
the stories of the Round Table -
The Story of King Arthur and
His Knights (1903),
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table (1905),
The Story of Lancelot and His Companions (1907), and
The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur (1910) -
are classics of both storytelling and illustration.
Pyle also wrote and illustrated a series of books for
young children; the best-known are Pepper & Salt
and The Wonder Clock.
"Pyle saw the action in art, and put it on the page for
all to share." Pyle was passionate about capturing
drama in his work; both his color paintings
and his black-and-white drawings exhibit a theatrical
sense of action and lighting. Pyle was also passionately
American, and argued against the prevailing
European dominance of artistic training.
Pyle began teaching art (for free) in 1896; his
students included beloved artists Jessie Wilcox Smith,
N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, and Maxfield Parrish.
These artists and their students are collectively
known as the Brandywine School, and
they redefined how generations of children picture
bloodthirsty pirates, noble queens, and valiant knights.
Books by Howard Pyle
Adventures of Robin Hood, unillustrated
electronic text at The Free Library. Thirty-three
of the illustrations
are available from the Robin Hood Project at
the University of Rochester.
Pyle's Book of Pirates, at the World Wide School library.
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table
(1905) tells the stories of Sir Lancelot, Sir Tristram and Sir Percival. The text and the complete
illustrations, at the Internet Sacred Text Archive's
English Folklore collection.
Fifteen of Pyle's Arthurian
illustrations can be found under "P"
at the Camelot Project at the University of Rochester.
The pictures are from The Lady of Shallot
(1881) as well as Pyle's own The Story of King Arthur and
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table,
and The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur.
Men of Iron at
Classic Reader. A rousing tale of
the Wars of the Roses, and the source material for the 1954 film The Black Shield of Falworth.
Howard Pyle -
A Story Artist features ten tales from Pyle's
Twilight Land, a collection of children's tales
first published in book form in 1894, with an introductory
essay on Howard Pyle.
sixteen stories at Literature Classics.
About Howard Pyle and the
an essay with pictures, explores Pyle's influence on book
illustration; it's at Bud Plant Illustrated Books.
The Illustrators Project:
Howard Pyle (1853-1911), a short biography with bibliography and
references, at the University of Pittsburgh Library's
Elizabeth Nesbitt Room.
Artistic Vision of Howard Pyle and
Pyle's Angels, both at the Ragnarok Press,
who sell CDs of Pyle's illustrations and fonts based on
Pyle, a biography at Illustration House.
Notes on the Illustrations ·
7 August 2005