Smocks and Smocking in Literary Illustrations

Figure 1.--

Smocking and smocks can be seen in many illustrations for children's literature. This is especially true of late 19th and early 20th century books. There are many such illustrators whonwere noted for their illustrations of children in smocks, although because of the size of the illustrations, the smocking does not always show in detail in the illustrations. The most famous illustration is of course Kate Greenaway. There were many others. Some of the illustrators included Cicely Mary Barker, Henriette Willebeek Le Mair, and Blanche Fisher Wright. These illustrators loved to depict children romping inocently in smocks. They projected an innocent, nostalgic image of "old fashioned" country of late 18th early 19th century English country life. The idealized scenes projected perhaps never actully were, but it is what the public wanted to imagine--simpler, innocent times. that people wanted to pretend existed. And what could be more innicent than little boy and girls in smocks and other gayly colored garment dancing around the may pole or romping in the country.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: July 22, 2002
Last updated: July 22, 2002