Rodney Dale – Author

Louis Wain – the man who drew cats

Louis WainRodney Dale's first book was a biography. It was published by William Kimber in 1968, and was the first full-length life of the artist. It revived interest in the largely forgotten Louis Wain (1860-1939), and led to a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1972. Here lay the foundation of the current popularity and commercial appeal of the artist.

Louis Wain 2The 1968 book was a demonstration of faith on the part of William Kimber, and for financial reasons was illustrated in black and white. But much of Wain's work was in colour, and in 1991 the publisher Michael O'Mara and gallery owner Chris Beetles jointly published a version of the biography with many colour plates, at last doing the artist justice. The current biography (2000) is published solely by Chris Beetles.

Since then, Rodney Dale has written many more books as sole or joint author; including works on the history of technology, jazz, urban legend and reference. Go to RD Books to see a chronological list. Click on a book cover to find out more about it.