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Margaret Tarrant (British, 1888-1959)

Margaret Winifred Tarrant (1888-1959) initially sought to make her career as an art teacher, but, doubting her teaching abilities, she became a full-time watercolour painter and illustrator specialising in children's books. In 1908 she was commissioned to illustrate Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies; following this first success she went on to illustrate over twenty books for Harrap. In 1920 Tarrant began to work for The Medici Society on a regular basis, designing countless postcards, prints, books, cards, pamphlets and calendars.

Tarrant's characteristic subjects are fairies, animals, and romantic pictures of children. She also painted a number of works on religious subjects, and completed a series of wildflower paintings. Her work is delicate and accomplished and remains extremely popular: a diary illustrated with her works is still produced each year.

Margaret Tarrant. A rat in a hurry

A Rat in a Hurry
Pen and Ink
5.4 x 11.4 Cm. (image size)


This small but perfectly balanced drawing shows one of the rats from the Pied Piper of Hamelin, published in 1912 running in a hurry to follow the piper's magical tune.

Illustrated in Robert Browning, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. A Child's Story, 1912, p. 6.

2001-2012 Cambridge Book & Print Gallery