Alan Odle

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Alan Elsden Odle (1888–1948) was an English illustrator, remembered today as the husband of the English novelist Dorothy Richardson, whom he married in 1917.[1] His grotesque and subversive style was a precursor of surrealism. He illustrated an English edition of Voltaire's Candide ((G. Routledge, 1922), Mark Twain's 1601: A Tudor Fireside Conversation, a salute to scatology and Elizabethan manners (London: Printed for Subscribers only, 1936), and The Mimiambs of Herondas.[2] He also designed the dust jacket for James Hanley's Ebb and Flow (London: John Lane, 1932), other Hanley novels for Lane, and Dorothy Richardson's Backwater (1916).[3] He contributed to a number of periodicals such as The Gypsy, The Golden Hind (1922–25), the US Vanity Fair, The Studio, and the UK The Argosy.[4]

Alan Odle's brother was Edwin Vincent Odle (1890–1942), author of the minor science fiction classic The Clockwork Man (1923), and Odle was a friend and correspondent of the writer Claude Houghton.[5]

The film director and Python Terry Gilliam is a connoisseur of his work.

Bibliography (secondary sources)[edit]

  • There is an article on him by Martin Steenson in the Antiquarian Book Monthly Review, October 1979.
  • The Imaginative Book Illustration Society at [1] has a bibliography of the published drawings compiled by Martin Steenson : Studies in Illustration, Issue 9, Summer 1998.
  • Martin Steenson has also published a book on Odle, The Life and Work of Alan Odle (Stroud: Books & Things, 2012),126 pages, ISBN 978-0-9544395-1-4 (includes a full bibliography) [2].
  • Herbert B. Grimsditch, "Mr. Alan Odle: A Master of the Grotesque", The Studio, London, England, 1 January 1928, Volume 95, no.418, p. 23.
  • "An Exhibition by Three Book Illustrators: John Austen, Harry Clarke and Alan Odle", The Studio, London, England, 15 May 1925, Volume 89, no.386, p. 261


  1. ^ Allan according to 1901 census and some sources on <>, but these are probably transcription errors
  2. ^>.
  3. ^>.
  4. ^ Martin Steenson, The Life and Work of Alan Odle (Stroud: Books & Things, 2012).
  5. ^ Gloria G. Fromm, Dorothy Richardson: a biography. University of Illinois Press, 1977. ISBN 0252006313 (p. 418).

External links[edit]