Geoffrey Whittam

born 1916.

Geoffrey Whittam, well known for his nautical illustration, first illustrated Monica Edwards books in 1950.
In that year he provided artwork for both The White Riders and for the first of the Farm based books, Black Hunting Whip.

He then became the illustrator of the Marsh books, the Farm stories being illustrated by several others until Frenchman's Secret in 1956, after which all but the final of the series books were illustrated by Whittam.
In all, he illustrated seventeen of Monica Edwards' children's novels.

Click to enlarge
Final illustration from the Collins Magazine
serial of Black Hunting Whip
He often visited the farm and was well liked by the family. His familarity with the settings comes across in his drawings, which are an accurate portrayal of the settings of the stories.

This is equally true for those based at Rye Harbour. His map of Westling area, which first appears in Cargo of Horses in 1951 includes miniature drawings of Rye Harbour Church and the Lifeboat House as they are. A careful look at his drawing of Castle Farm, destroyed before the first book was published, shows that this too is of the real thing. Compare his drawing with one Monica Edwards did herself for, as she puts it, her 'youthful diary'.

Whittam's Castle Farm.
Whittam's picture from the Westling map.
(enlarged detail)
Monica Edwards' drawing. Click to enlarge
Monica Edwards' drawing of the farm
Puffin edition. Click to enlarge
Puffin 1956
In the mid 1950s he produced two new wrap around cover illustrations for the Puffin editions of The White Riders and Storm Ahead.

Puffin. Click to enlarge
Puffin 1957

Here follows the full list of his illustrated Monica Edwards books:
The White Riders; Black Hunting Whip; Cargo of Horses; Hidden in a Dream; Storm Ahead; No Entry; The Nightbird; Frenchman's Secret; Operation Seabird; Strangers to the Marsh; The Cownappers; No Going Back; The Outsider; The Hoodwinkers; Dolphin Summer; Fire in the Punchbowl and The Wild One

As well as these, and many other, books Whittam contributed illustrations to magazines including comic strips. These included The Radio Times, Mandy and Victor.

This page is part of the Monica Edwards Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
created July 2003
updated August 2003