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Wednesday’s woman Engraver

September 3, 2014




According to Patricia Jaffe in Woman Engravers, one female name to come to the fore early in the 19th century in the history of wood engraving was Eliza Thompson.  She was not a pupil of the Female School of Design but the daughter of the famous John Thompson (1785–1866).  Who was an an artist and wood engraver and noted for his illustrations in William Yarrell’s History of British Birds.  John Thompson taught his sons and daughter and she undoubtedly helped her father on commissions.  Some of the illustrations in the Yarrell’s book are inscribed with ‘T. DEL.ET.SC. this suggests that all the family members were involved with the work.  In the preface Yarrell only thanks John Thompson and his sons; Eliza seems to have gone off the radar.  

Apparently several of the pretty vignettes have the monogram that appears to be that of John Thompson but they could easily been her works and they are indeed quite a different style to the birds.

But Patricia Jaffe only speculates … but I like the idea!    

Further reading Woman Engravers by Patricia Jaffe.

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