Louis Wain - the man who drew cats


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Louis Wain:

the man who drew cats

Louis Wain - the man who drew cats

Rodney Dale


'He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves'. These words by H G Wells broadcast in 1927 emphasize how Louis Wain was known to his contemporaries as 'the man who drew cats'. Illustrator of over a hundred books, his pictures a favourite in innumerable nurseries, and always ready to dash off a lightning sketch for some astonished door-keeper or shop assistant, his work became famous.

Profusely illustrated with a representative selection of his work, this biography is the first (which must surely be a surprising fact to the thousands who remember his famous days) to be written of Louis Wain. It traces his career from those sketches of the kitten 'Peter' made at his wife's sick-bed which inspired Louis Wain's first widely-known picture — 'A Kittens' Christmas Party', through his active life as an illustrator and champion of the National Cat Club, to his years of illness and obscurity and his death in 1939.

This account of his life, combining a rich choice from his work, will be warmly welcomed by all those who recall what his drawings meant to them in their childhood, and will be found a fascinating study of a strange and tragic life by those to whom Louis Wain is an unknown genius.