Calligraphy and illustrations for Spencer
One of the drawings has been coloured. The illustrations are typical of Mclaren's illustrative at its finest. The initials on the back ('HM') would seem to suggest that this is the recipient of the portfolio.
The drawings include those illustrating: the 'shore of silver-streaming Thames'; a 'flock of nymphs [...] each one had a little wicker basket's; the 'two swans of goodly hue'; the 'nymphs, which now had flowers their fill'; the 'baskets [...] store of flowers'; a spray of flowers being perhaps 'the world's fair ornament'; nymphs, swans and flowers; 'Sweet Thames' with skyline and bridge; Queen Elizabeth, 'Great England's glory and the world's wide wonder'; and, the 'Finis' in which 'I end my song'.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
McLaren earned a living as a commercial illustrator working for such titles as The Radio Times and The Listener. He is noted for illustrating the popular Beverley Nichols gardening books. He also painted murals at Wemyss Castle, St Adrian's Church in West Wemyss, Hopetoun House, Hawthornden Castle and Tyninghame House. He also produced a portfolio of work around Edmund Spenser's Prothalamion.
Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene (1590-1596), an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English language. Following The Faerie Queene Spenser released Prothalamion, a wedding song written for the daughters of a duke.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Original calligraphy and illustrations, 1946, for the 'Prothalamion' by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), done by William McLaren (1923-1987)