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Kathleen Frances Barker (1901-1963)


Kathleen Frances Barker

Kathleen Frances Wright Barker (1901-1963)

Kathleen Francis Barker was a sensitive and observant writer and illustrator of books about animals, and especially dogs and horses. In illustrating the work of other authors, she produced a fine edition of Anna Sewell’s equestrian classic, Black Beauty (1936).

Kathleen Frances Barker was born at The Beeches, Wellow Road, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, on 2 January 1901, the third of four children of (John) Wright Barker, the painter of hunting scenes and animal portraits, and his wife, Ellen Mary (née Alcock). Probably at the outbreak of the First World War, the family moved to Thorn Lea, 16 Duchy Road, Harrogate, Yorkshire, and this would remain Kathleen’s home for the remainder of her life. Following in her father’s footsteps, she produced images of animals, and especially dogs, some of which she contributed to
The Field, Tailwagger and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

In 1933, Barker began to write and illustrate books, including those by other authors, most of which were published by A & C Black, Country Life and William Heinemann. Her work was informed by her love of animals and her favourite pastimes: riding, otter hunting and beagling.

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