Sowerby, Millicent (1878–1967)

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Sowerby, Millicent (1878–1967)

British postcard and children's book illustrator. Born in 1878, possibly in Gateshead, Colchester, England; died in 1967; daughter of John G. Sowerby (an illustrator who flourished between 1876 and 1914); sister of author Githa Sowerby.

Illustrated "Postcards for the Little Ones" series and children's books including Alice in Wonderland (1907), A Child's Garden of Verses (1908), and many others; illustrated many children's books written by her sister Githa Sowerby.

Born the daughter of illustrator John G. Sowerby in 1878, Millicent Sowerby took up her father's craft to become one of the best-loved postcard artists of the Edwardian age. Many of her cards depicted Kate Greenaway girls or idyllic scenes from Shakespeare. Her series "Postcards for the Little Ones," which portrayed merry, wholesome children and nursery rhyme vignettes, was extremely popular; sales consistently numbered in the thousands.

Sowerby also illustrated many books for children from her studio in South Kensington, London. Her works were included in editions of Alice in Wonderland (1907), A Child's Garden of Verses (1908), Grimm's Fairy Tales (1909), and Little Stories for Little People (1910). At the same time, she started a very successful and productive partnership illustrating children's books written by her sister, Githa Sowerby . Millicent and Githa worked together for over 20 years, producing such books as Children, Yesterday's Children, The Wise Book, The Merry Book, and many other similarly cheerful stories. Millicent Sowerby continued to paint watercolors well into her 80s and enjoyed painting flowers. She died in 1967 at the age of 89.

Ruth Savitz , freelance writer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania