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Pauline Baynes 1922-2008
 


Country : Hove, Sussex
Profession : Illustrator
Date of birth : 1922-09-09
Date of death : 2008-08-02
Cause of Death : Unspecified

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Pauline_Baynes_2868067

Pauline Baynes (September 9, 1922 – August 2, 2008) was an English book illustrator, whose work encompassed more than 100 books, notably those by C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. She was born in Hove, Sussex.

Though her early years were spent in India, where her father was commissioner in Agra, she and her elder sister came to England for their schooling. Baynes attended the Slade School of Fine Art, but after a year she volunteered to work for the Ministry of Defence, where she made demonstration models for instruction courses. This work did not last long as she was soon transferred to a map-making department (knowledge of which she later employed to good effect when she drew maps of Narnia for C. S. Lewis and of Middle-earth for J. R. R. Tolkien).

Baynes is probably best known for her illustrations in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. She was also J. R. R. Tolkien's chosen illustrator: her drawings appear in Farmer Giles of Ham, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Smith of Wootton Major, Tree and Leaf, and after Tolkien's death the poem Bilbo's Last Song (as a poster in 1974, as a book in 1990).

In her obituary, the Daily Telegraph described how Baynes and Tolkien came to be associated:

  • "In 1948 Tolkien was visiting his publishers, George Allen & Unwin, to discuss some disappointing artwork that they had commissioned for his novella Farmer Giles of Ham, when he spotted, lying on a desk, some witty reinterpretations of medieval marginalia from the Luttrell Psalter that greatly appealed to him. These, it turned out, had been sent to the publishers "on spec" by the then unknown Pauline Baynes. Tolkien demanded that the creator of these drawings be set to work illustrating Farmer Giles of Ham, and was delighted with the subsequent results, declaring that Pauline Baynes had "reduced my text to a commentary on her drawings". Further collaboration between Tolkien and his Farmer Giles illustrator followed, and a lifelong friendship developed... Later, when she showed him her artwork for a poster featuring Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, the author nodded approvingly and murmured quietly: "There they are, there they are."

Baynes also painted the covers for the British 1973 one-volume and 1981 three-volume paperback editions of The Lord of the Rings, and produced illustrated poster versions of the maps from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Her favorite of her own works was Grant Uden's Dictionary of Chivalry, an illustration project which required two years to complete, and which was recognized with the Kate Greenaway Medal.

On August 2, 2008, she died at age 85.

 

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