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Helen Allingham

Helen Allinghams England

The only modern original biography of Helen Allingham, Helen Allingham's England is THE definitive biography, packed with details on Helen's life, family, career, and painting techniques. An accomplished author, Ina Taylor, has also written the best-selling biography of Edith Holden The Edwardian Lady, as well as Victorian Sisters and George Eliot, Woman of Contradictions. Another "must have" book for Helen fans! - The Helen Allingham Society.

Helen Allingham's paintings of rural England now enjoy enormous popularity and receive greater acclaim than ever before.

In this new biography, the first for almost ninety years, the astonishing versatility of Helen Allingham's work is revealed. The 110 colour illustrations show that the 'painter of cottages' in fact produced fine seaside and farmyard scenes, portraits and interiors as well as the much-loved flower borders. Seen also for the first time are some twenty of Helen's early pencil sketches, photographs and examples of her magazine illustrations.

Helen Allingham was one of the early women to train at the Royal Academy Schools, the only female on the staff of the Graphic magazine, and the first woman admitted to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. In 1874 she married the Irish poet William Allingham and the couple lived in London, mixing with other writers and artists such as Tennyson, Burne-Jones and Carlyle. It was, however, the eight years Helen then spent in Surrey which provided her with the greatest inspiration.

Hers was a romantic view of rural life with centuries-old cottages, beautiful young women and endless sunny days, all portrayed with a fine attention to detail. For us, as much as for the Victorians, Helen Allingham's art offers the perfect form of escapism, the tranquil, timeless world we all long for.

Ina Taylor 1990 Helen Allingham's England London: Caxton Editions ISBN 1-84067-087-8 GBP15.00

You can buy this book on Amazon.


  • Introduction
  • 1 Childhood and early art training (1848 - 1866)
  • 2 The London art world (1866 - 1874)
  • 3 Marriage and painting (1874 - 1881)
  • 4 Country life (1881 - 1888)
  • 5 The established artist (1889 - 1926)
  • Helen Allingham's technique
  • Bibliography
  • Index


The Helen Allingham Society.