Mr Herbert Railton, illustrator

Something more to Mr Railton than the usual denatured Victorian book illustrator. Thank-you Dave Walker and the inestimable library at the RBKC.

The Library Time Machine

In 1910 the entertainingly named W. Outram Tristram had a book out called Moated Houses. I find Tristram’s prose style a little hard to follow. It’s pompous, rambling and obscure. And that book is long. I never knew that Edwardian England had so many houses with moats. Possibly many of them got knocked down and the moats filled in over the course of the twentieth century.

But as it happens water and architecture were an excellent combination for Tristram’s illustrator, Herbert Railton who died aged 53 of pneumonia in the year of the book’s publication. This picture is of Gedding Hall in Suffolk.

Gedding Hall p155 - Copy

Railton combines a precision about the details of the buildings – brickwork,  windows etc –  with an overall impresion of indistinctness as foliage, water and the refection of the house leave you with a sense of looking through mist or being dazzled by sunlight.

I know Railton’s…

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5 Responses to Mr Herbert Railton, illustrator

  1. I’m so glad you know about The Library Time Machine, Martin. I’m extremely fond of Dave’s blog.


  2. actonbooks says:

    Me too. It was my local library for some years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. actonbooks says:

    Yep, I lived variously in the golden triangle that emanated from Harrods down the Brompton Rd and Fulham Rd to Parson’s Green and went as far north as Notting Hill — before the twerps took it over. Latterly Battersea beside the park. I used to work in Richmond and was only telling someone recently about the daily Concordes that came over at, as I recall, about 3:15pm. Time’s Arrow and progress is running backwards. Would not have happened in Victoria’s age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Watched Concorde’s last journey overhead in Sheen. I’ve also lived in Fulham and off Gloucester Road, and beyond Notting Hill in the Westbourne Park end of Maida Vale. Clearly we were cut from the same cloth!


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