Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875)

Illustration from Good Words.

The short-lived A. Boyd Houghton was one of the most important illustrators of the 1860s and early 1870s, working sometimes in a Pre-Raphaelite manner, and always with a sense of the dramatic impact that could be achieved with black and white. He illustrated widely in magazines, including The Graphic (his series Graphic America 1870-72), Good Words, The Sunday Magazine and so forth. His most important book illustrations were those for The Arabian Nights and for Don Quixote.

Illustration from The Arabian Nights.

Books with Houghton illustrations can be found without difficulty in second hand bookshops. However, to me, some of his work seems rather conventional and uninteresting, and when I started to look out for it, it was a while before I came across some of his more arresting designs which show him as more than an average illustrator.

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