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Alfred Bestall MBE (1892-1986)

Alfred Edmeades Bestall, MBE (1892-1986)

Alfred Bestall was already an experienced cartoonist and illustrator when, in 1935, he succeeded Tourtel as author and illustrator of Rupert Bear. A fine landscape painter, he injected a greater realism and strong sense of place into the narratives, making the element of fantasy seem all the more convincing. He was at his most impressive in the work that he produced for the covers and endpapers of the Annuals, as is exemplified here.
The son of pioneer Methodist missionaries, Alfred Bestall was born in Mandalay, Burma, on 14 December 1892. He was educated at Rydal Mount School, Colwyn Bay (1904-11), and won a scholarship to the Birmingham Central School of Art (1912-14). However, the First World War interrupted his studies, and he served in Flanders in the 35th (Bantam) Division.

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