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Phyllis Ginger (1907-2005) was educated at Tiffin Girls’ School. Her family gave her artistic talents little encouragement, but nevertheless, she completed three years at the Richmond School of Art. She took evening classes at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, to where, at the age of 30, she won a full time scholarship. She was particularly skilled as a topographical artist, and when the Pilgrim Trust began their Recording Britain scheme in 1939, Ginger was commissioned to contribute. She recorded the changing face of Britain as it was altered forever by the ravages of war and development.

After the war, she collaborated with Mrs Robert Henrey on her books London (1948) and The Virgin of Aldermanbury: Rebirth of the City of London (1958), but not all her work was topographical. In later life, she concentrated on portraiture, and in the 1940s, made two contributions to children’s literature. She wrote, and illustrated, number 24 in the Picture Puffin series, Alexander the Circus Pony (1943), and illustrated another pony book, Joan Lamburn’s fantasy The Mushroom Pony (1947).

Finding the book: very difficult to find indeed, and tends to be very expensive when it does appear.

Links and sources
Thank you to Stella & Rose Books for the photograph

Obituary, The Independent, May 10, 2005

Obituary, The Guardian, August 10, 2005

The Victoria and Albert Museum has a good collection of Phyllis Ginger’s works, which you can see online. My particular favourite is her Bucking Horse.

Phyllis Ginger

Alexander the Circus Pony

Puffin, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1943, 31 pp.

A sketch for Alexander the Circus Pony, Victoria and Albert Museum

Bibliography - pony books only