Pauline Baynes

Pauline Diana Baynes September 9th 1922 - August 1st 2008.

Pauline Baynes was born in Hove, Sussex in 1922. She studied at Farnhalm School of Art and later at the Slade. She had a long career as an illustrator and designer, and illustrated over a hundred books.

J.R.R. Tolkien chose her to illustrate Farmer Giles of Ham in 1967. After that she illustrated several other books by Tolkien, including The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Smith of Wootton Major, Tree and Leaf as well as Bilbo's Last Song. It was this connection to Tolkien that lead to her best know and loved work - the original illustrations for The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Other titles that she illustrated include Thanks Be to God, All Things Bright and Beautiful and Good King Wenceslas. She won the Kate Greenaway Award for The Dictionary of Chivalry.

Pauline continued to illustarate to the end. She passed away in her cottage in Dockenfield, Surrey, at the age of 85.

What Tolkien wrote about Baynes' work

(about the illustrations of "Farmer Giles of Ham")
Miss Baynes' pictures must have reached Merton on Saturday; but owing to various things I did not see them till yesterday. I merely write to say that I am pleased with them beyond even the expectations aroused by the first examples. They are more than illustrations, they are a collateral theme. I showed them to my friends whose polite comment was that they reduced my text to a commentary on the drawings.
from a letter to Allen & Unwin 16 March 1949 (Letter 120 in "The Letters of JRR Tolkien")

What Tolkien wrote to Baynes

(Baynes had expressed herself willing to provide pictures for "the Adventures of Tom Bombadil" and had been reading typescripts of the poems)
If I dare say so, the things sent to you (except the Sea-bell, the poorest, and not one that I shd. really wish to include, at least not with the others) were conceived as a series of very definite, clear and precise, pictures - fantastical, or nonsensical perhaps, but not dreamlike! And I thought of you, because you seem able to produce wonderful pictures with a touch of "fantasy", but primarily bright and clear visions of things that one might really see.
from a letter to Mrs Pauline Gasch (Pauline Baynes) 6 December 1961 (Letter 235 in "The Letters of JRR Tolkien")

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