Dugald Stewart Walker’s Rainbow Gold


Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The illustrations of Dugald Stewart Walker (1883–1937) have been featured here on several occasions but this is a book of his that I’d missed until now. The Internet Archive has a huge trove of illustrated editions but the illustrators aren’t always credited on the website pages so you either have to rely on chance discovery or search for books by their titles.


Rainbow Gold: Poems Old and New Selected for Boys and Girls (1922) is a collection compiled by Sara Teasdale that was illustrated throughout by Walker’s full-page drawings and many smaller vignettes. Not all of the poems are given the full-page treatment so some of the omissions are disappointing. I’d liked to have seen what he could do for Yeats’s The Song of Wandering Aengus, for example.


There’s a Virgil Finlay-like quality to a few of these illustrations that I hadn’t noticed in Walker’s art before: the stars in the Israfel drawing, the same kinds of tiny nested circles that Finlay favoured, and dots stippled in white that must have been applied with paint rather than ink. Finlay would have been the right age to have been given (or shown) Walker’s drawings when he was a child which makes me wonder if they exerted a minor influence.


“When the hounds of spring” by Algernon Charles Swinburne.


The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson.


Hymn to Diana by Ben Jonson.


Robin Hood and the Butcher by Author Unknown.


Lullaby for Titania by William Shakespeare.


Israfel by Edgar Allan Poe.


Sir Patrick Spens by Author Unknown.


“Time, you old gipsy man” by Ralph Hodgson.


The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley.


The Fairies by William Allingham.


La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats.


Spring by Thomas Nashe.


Moon Folly by Fannie Stearns Clifford.


Star-Talk by Robert Graves.


Sea Fever by John Masefield.


The Fountain by James Russell Lowell.


Off the Ground by Walter de la Mare.


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Dream Boats and Other Stories by Dugald Stewart Walker
The Snow Queen
Dugald Stewart Walker revisited
The art of Dugald Stewart Walker, 1883–1937

3 thoughts on “Dugald Stewart Walker’s Rainbow Gold”

  1. Beautiful; thanks, once again, for an introduction to yet another fine artist’s work.

  2. Would it be amiss to detect a soupçon of Sidney Sime’s influence in some of these illustrations?

  3. It’s possible, all artists are looking to the past when they’re starting out, hence my speculation about Virgil Finlay. Dunsany’s illustrated editions were published in the USA so Walker could have seen them.

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