The Eagle of the Ninth illustrator C Walter Hodges | Old Alleynian | Rosemary Sutcliff Discovery of the Day

The Eagle of the Ninth book by Rosemary Sutcliff, now also a film, was illustrated by C Walter Hodges (1909-2004) who was educated at London’s Dulwich College from 1922-25. The school has an intriguing, well organised record of illustrious former students. I had not known C Walter Hodges illustrated  historical novelist Elizabeth Goudge, an important influence on Rosemary Sutcliff.

After Dulwich and Goldsmith’s College, C Walter Hodges’ professional career began as a stage designer in 1929. He soon moved into illustrating advertisements, magazines (especially the Radio Times) and children’s books. Here he led the trend towards a clearer integration of picture and text and displayed the careful and accurate research into costume and period detail that later proved to be one his strongest characteristics.

Amongst his best known illustrations for children’s books are those in Elizabeth Goudge’s Carnegie winner The Little White Horse (1946), Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) and his own work Shakespeare’s Theatre (1964), in which both text and pictures effectively conveyed the theatrical atmosphere of Elizabethan times. He was awarded the Library Association’s medal for children’s book illustration, The Greenaway Prize, in 1965.

In more recent years he designed the permanent Elizabethan stage at St George’s Theatre, a retrospective of theatre designs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington (1988) and a set of Royal Mail stamps depicting Shakespeare’s Globe and the Bankside Theatres (1995).

Source: Dulwich College – Old Alleynians in the Arts
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Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

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