Austin Spare’s Behind the Veil


Another Internet Archive discovery, this is a scanned copy of one of Austin Spare’s first illustrated works. Behind the Veil was a small book of mystical fiction by Ethel Rolt Wheeler, published in 1906. Spare was only 20 at the time and the drawings, while accomplished, lack the finesse of his later work. They also owe a lot more to Beardsley’s style than his later drawing (with some figurative nods to Michelangelo, perhaps) which isn’t so surprising given that Beardsley’s influence, eight years after his death, was still considerable.

Also in the archives are two more Spare commissions of lesser interest: Twelve Poems (1916) and The Gold Tree (1917), both by JC Squire.

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4 thoughts on “Austin Spare’s Behind the Veil”

  1. Hey John, have you seen anything regarding that limited Fulgur release of a previously unpublished portfolio of Spare’s drawings, 20 in all I believe, called ‘the Valley of Fear.’ From what I’ve seen it looks interesting. Fulgur ltd’s American website is a bit behind their European one, I think I have it coming in the mail but I’ll just have to wait to be sure.

  2. Nice, I didn’t know about that. I hadn’t looked at the Fulgur site for ages, they’ve changed it for the better (using WordPress…yay!)

    Someone asked if I was interested in a Spare original recently, a very good drawing. Couldn’t make the price being asked, unfortunately.

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