The Art of Book Design: The Springtime of Life, poems of childhood

Algernon Charles Swinburn. Springtide of Life. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott: London, W. Heinemann, 1918.

Today’s children’s book is a collection of poetry dedicated to the early life of children by Algernon Swinburn. It was published posthumously, as a collection according to the author’s wishes and was illustrated by one of the era’s most prolific and respected artists, Arthur Rackham. I’ve included all the full-page colour plates, but the book also contains a wealth of line drawings of chubby cherubs and well-fed babies, a minimum of one per poem. I’m very fond of Rackham’s artwork and I hope it brings some pleasure to your day.

… the face and voice of a child are assurance of heaven and its promise for ever (pg 133), Frontispiece, The Springtide of Life.

Hush! for the holiest thing that lives is here, facing page 2, Springtide of Life.

Love, laughing, leads the little feet A little way, page 42, The Springtide of Life

A child’s future, page 60, The Springtide of Life

… a flower of bliss, beyond all blessing Blest, page 84, Springtide of Life.

Now that May’s call musters Files of baby bands, page 98, The Springtide of Life.

… the paths of spring, page 120, Springtide of Life.

… Summer’s rose-garlanded train, page 128, Springtide of Life.


via: The Internet Archive



  1. brucegee1962 says

    Even when he’s being schmaltzy, as here, all of Rackham’s youths look mischievous.

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