Eileen Soper – Illustrator
Eileen Soper worked for Hilary Page producing illustrations for box artwork, catalogues and point of sale material in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. She worked up in the attic of 66 Barkston Gardens and took reference from photographs of Page's own children to render colourful illustrations so evocative of the time.
Born, Eileen Alice Soper on 26th March 1905, she was an etcher and illustrator of children’s and latterly wildlife books. She produced a series of etchings mainly of children playing and illustrated books for other writers, notably for Enid Blyton and Elizabeth Gould, and wrote and illustrated her own children’s book. Some of her illustrations of children and animals were used in a china series for children by Paragon China in the 1930’s. Later in life she concentrated on writing and illustrating wildlife books.
Eileen was born in Enfield, and moved to the house that she was to spend the rest of her life in Harmer Green, Welwyn in the Hertfordshire countryside in 1908. The house she later named “Wildings” was built by her father, the artist George Soper, and Eileen and her older sister, the artist Eva, inherited the house after his death in 1942 and lived there for the rest of their lives. She attended Hitchin Girls School and was artistically trained mostly by her father.
Eileen showed early promise as an artist and two of her etchings were shown in the Royal Academy in London at the age of 15 after she showed three prints at an exhibition organised by the International Society of Printmakers in California. She continued to produce around 180 etchings mostly of children at play into the 1930’s. Queen Mary bought two of her etchings, among them ‘Flying swings’ in 1924. Her work was popular and well received and shown in the UK and the USA.
Eileen also publisher her own children’s books in the 1940s, a book of poetry and from the 1050s worked on mostly her wildlife illustrations of British wildlife around her house in Welwyn.
Today Eileen is best known for her collaboration with Enid Blyton, most notably the Famous Five books.
Published books (Illustrator)