Edward Jeffrey Irving Ardizzone, CBE, RA (16 October 1900 – 8 November 1979) was an English artist, writer and illustrator, chiefly of children's books.
Ardizzone's father, of Italian descent, was born in Algeria, then a colony of France, and worked on overseas government service elsewhere in the French colonial empire. Ardizzone's mother was English. Edward was born in the port city of Haiphong, in what is now Vietnam, but which was then known as Tonkin, in the north of French Indo-China.
In 1905, Mrs Ardizzone returned to England with her three eldest children. They were brought up in Suffolk, largely by their maternal grandmother, whilst she returned to join her husband in the Far East.
Ardizzone was educated first at Ipswich School and then at Clayesmore School - where he was encouraged by his art teacher.
In 1936 he inaugurated his best known work, the Tim series, featuring the maritime adventures of its eponymous young hero, which he both wrote and illustrated. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain was published by Oxford University Press in both London and New York that year.
Ardizzone worked as an official war artist in World War II. His early experiences between Arras and Boulogne are llustrated and described in his book Baggage to the Enemy (London 1941). An extensive collection of his war pictures, as well as his wartime diaries, can be seen at The Imperial War Museum.
Beside writing and illustrating his own books, Ardizzone also illustrated books written by others, including the novels of Anthony Trollope.
One of his happiest collaborations was that with Eleanor Farjeon, especially The Little Bookroom (Oxford, 1955 collection).
He famously illustrated A Ring of Bells (1962), John Betjeman's abridged version for children of his autobiographical poem Summoned by Bells (1960).
He also illustrated a re-telling of the Don Quixote story for children by James Reeves and his illustrations for the The Land of Green Ginger by Noel Langley are classics in their own right.
Early in the 1970s, Ardizzone illustrated a new edition of the 20-year-old 'Little' books by Graham Greene: The Little Train, The Little Fire Engine, he
Little Horse Bus, and The Little Steamroller.
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He illustrated the C. Day Lewis children's novel, The Otterbury Incident (1948).
He also illustrated some novels by the American author Eleanor Estes, including Pinky Pye, The Witch Family, The Alley, Miranda the Great, and The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode (1958 to 1972).