E. H. Shepard

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Ernest Howard Shepard
Born (1879-12-10)10 December 1879
St John's Wood, London
Died 24 March 1976(1976-03-24) (aged 96)
Battles/wars World War I
Awards OBE, Military Cross
Other work Artist and book illustrator

Ernest Howard Shepard OBE, MC (10 December 1879 – 24 March 1976) was an English artist and book illustrator. He was known especially for his illustrations of anthropomorphic characters in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne.


E H Shepard's house at Lodsworth, marked with a blue plaque

Shepard was born in St John's Wood, London. Having shown some promise in drawing at St Paul's School, Shepard enrolled in Heatherleys School of Fine Art in Chelsea.[1] Having spent a productive year there, Shepard won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools [2] where he would meet Florence Eleanor Chaplin who would become his first wife.[3] By 1906 Shepard had become a successful illustrator, having produced work for illustrated editions of Aesop's Fables, David Copperfield, and Tom Brown's Schooldays, as well as an illustration for Punch.[4]

Though in his mid-thirties when World War I broke out in 1914, Shepard received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, an arm of the Royal Artillery.[5][6] By 1916, Shepard started working for the Intelligence Department sketching the combat area within the view of his battery position.[7] On 16 February 1917, he was made an acting captain whilst second-in-command of a siege battery, and briefly served as an acting major in late April and early May of that year, when he reverted to the acting rank of captain.[8][9] He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1917.[10] Whilst acting as Captain, he was awarded the Military Cross for his service at the Battle of Passchendaele. His citation read:[11]

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.
As forward Observation Officer he continued to observe and send back valuable information, in spite of heavy shell and machine gun fire. His courage and coolness were conspicuous.

By war's end, he had achieved the rank of major.[12]

Throughout the war he had been contributing to Punch. He was hired as a regular staff cartoonist in 1921 and became lead cartoonist in 1945 but was removed from this post by Malcolm Muggeridge, who became editor in 1953.[13]

Shepard was recommended to Milne by another Punch staffer, E. V. Lucas in 1923. Initially, Milne thought Shepard's style was not what he wanted, but used him to illustrate his book of poems When We Were Very Young. Happy with the results, Milne insisted Shepard illustrate Winnie-the-Pooh. Realising his illustrator's contribution to the book's success, Milne arranged for Shepard to receive a share of his royalties. Milne also inscribed a copy of Winnie-the-Pooh with the following personal verse:[14]

When I am gone,

Let Shepard decorate my tomb,
And put (if there is room)
Two pictures on the stone:
Piglet from page a hundred and eleven,
And Pooh and Piglet walking (157)…
And Peter, thinking that they are my own,

Will welcome me to Heaven.

Eventually, Shepard grew to resent "that silly old bear" and felt that these illustrations overshadowed his other work.[15]

Shepard modelled Pooh not on the toy owned by Christopher Robin, Milne's son, but on "Growler", a stuffed bear owned by his own son (Growler no longer exists, having been given to his granddaughter Minnie Hunt and subsequently destroyed by a neighbour's dog).[16] His Pooh work is so famous that 300 of his preliminary sketches were exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1969, when he was 90 years old.[17]

An E.H. Shepard painting of Winnie the Pooh, believed to have been painted in the 1930s for a Bristol teashop,[18] is the only known oil painting of the famous teddy bear. It was purchased at an auction for $243,000 in London late in 2000.[19] The painting is displayed at the Pavilion Gallery in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.[20]

Shepard wrote two autobiographies: Drawn from Memory (1957) and Drawn From Life (1961).[21][22]

In 1972, Shepard gave his personal collection of papers and illustrations to the University of Surrey. These now form the E.H. Shepard Archive.[23]

Shepard was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1972 Queen's Birthday Honours.[24]

Personal life[edit]

E H Shepard's grave at Lodsworth church

Shepard lived at Melina Place in St John's Wood, London[25] and from 1955 in Lodsworth in West Sussex. He had two children, Graham (born 1907) and Mary (born 1909),[26] who each also became illustrators.

Works illustrated[edit]

  • 1924 – When We Were Very Young[27]
  • 1925 – Playtime and Company, Holly Tree[27]
  • 1926 – Winnie The Pooh, Everybody's Pepys[27]
  • 1927 – Jeremy, Little One's Log, Let's Pretend, Now We Are Six, Fun and Fantasy[27]
  • 1928 – The House at Pooh Corner, The Golden Age[27]
  • 1930 – Everybody's Boswell, Dream Days[27]
  • 1931 – The Wind in the Willows, Christmas Poems, Bevis, Mother Goose[27]
  • 1932 – Sycamore Square[27]
  • 1933 – Everybody's Lamb, The Cricket in the Cage[27]
  • 1934 – Victoria Regina[27]
  • 1935 – Perfume from Provence
  • 1936 – The Modern Struwwelpeter[27]
  • 1937 – Golden Sovereign, Chaeddar Gorge, As the Bee Sucks, Extra Perfume from Provence
  • 1939 – The Reluctant Dragon[27]
  • 1941 – Gracious Majesty[27]
  • 1948 – Golden Age, Dream Days, Bertie's Escapade[27]
  • 1949 – York[27]
  • 1950 – Drover's Tale[27]
  • 1951 – Enter David Garrick[27]
  • 1953 – Silver Curlew[27]
  • 1954 – Cuckoo Clock, Susan, Bill and the Wolf-dog[27]
  • 1955 – Glass Slipper, Operation Wild Goose, Crystal Mountain, Frogmorton, The Brownies[27]
  • 1955 – Mary in the Country
  • 1956 – The Islanders, The Pancake[27]
  • 1956 – The Secret Garden
  • 1956 – Royal Reflections
  • 1957 – Drawn from Memory, Briar Rose[27]
  • 1958 – Old Greek Fairy Tales[27]
  • 1959 – Tom Brown's School Days[27]
  • 1960 – Noble Company[27]
  • 1961 – Drawn from Life, Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales[27]
  • 1965 – Ben and Brock[27]
  • 1969 – The Wind in the Willows (colour re-illustration), The Pooh Cookbook (cover)[27]
  • 1970 – Winnie the Pooh (colour re-illustration), The House at Pooh Corner (colour re-illustration)[27]
  • 1971 – The Pooh Party Book (cover)[27]


  1. ^ Chandler, Arthur R. (2000). E.H. Shepard, The Man Who Drew Pooh. Winkinswood Farm, West Sussex, UK: Jaydem Books. pp. 27–31. ISBN 978-1-903368-02-2. 
  2. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 33
  3. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 37
  4. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 51
  5. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 59
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29405. p. 12570. 17 December 1915. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 69
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30051. p. 4315. 4 May 1917. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30383. p. 11818. 13 November 1917. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30315. p. 10142. 28 September 1917. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30188. p. 7244. 17 July 1917. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  12. ^ Bryant, Mark. World War I in Cartoons. London: Grub Street Pub, 2006, page 9, ISBN 190494356X
  13. ^ E.H. Shepard | Winnie the Pooh Archived 4 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Icons: The Man Who Drew Pooh Archived 20 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ The Man Who Hated Pooh Archived 21 July 2007 at WebCite
  16. ^ Chandler (2000), p. 92
  17. ^ Howard, Philip (16 December 1969). "Show at Pooh Corner" (57744). The Times. 
  18. ^ http://www.poohcorner.com
  19. ^ "Winnipeg outbids art lovers for Pooh painting". CBC News Canada. 16 November 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Art in the Park - Pavilion Gallery Museum Collections". Assiniboine Park. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Shepard, Ernest H. (1957). Drawn from Memory. London: Methuen. 
  22. ^ Shepard, Ernest H. (1961). Drawn from Life. London: Methuen. 
  23. ^ "The E.H. Shepard Archive at the University of Surrey". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45678. p. 12. 3 June 1972. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  25. ^ "More homes with literary credentials". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. 
  26. ^ Millie Arnet, Michelle Frisque, Beth Kean, Elizabeth T. Mahoney. "Resource Guide – Ernest Howard Shepard". The Elizabeth Nesbitt Room Illustrators Project. University of Pittsburgh ULS. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2008. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Chandler (2000), pp. 172–174

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