Illustrations Art Gallery

Jessie M. King – Illustrations for Poems of Spenser 1906

Jessie Marion King (March 20, 1875 – August 3, 1949) was a Scottish illustrator mostly of children’s books. She also designed jewellery and fabric, and painted pottery. King was one of the artists known as the Glasgow Girls.

Jessie M. King was made Tutor in Book Decoration and Design at Glasgow School of Art in 1899. Her first published designs, and some people believe her finest, were for the covers of books published by Globus Verlag, Berlin between 1899 and 1902.

Jessie M. King was influenced by the Art Nouveau of the period, and her works correspond in mood with those of The Glasgow Four. Despite the influence of Art Nouveau, she was inspired to create unique designs where she did not literally translate the real world. “I would not copy designs,” she said, “but insisted on drawing out of my head.” During her early period, she created detailed pen and ink illustrations on vellum.

Edmund Spenser (1552/1553–1599) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of nascent Modern English verse, and is often considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.

Presenting the First edition of Poems of Spenser, with illustrations by Jessie Marion King. Published by T. & E. Jack. London, 1906,

Other Jessie M. King illustrated works available in our gallery: The Defence of Guenevere, A House of Pomegranates, The High History of the Holy Graal, Seven Happy Days, The Mummy’s Bedtime Story Book, Habitation Forcee.

Art Gallery: Jessie M. King – Poems of Spenser 1906

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