The King of the Golden River – Illustrated by Arthur Rackham


The King of the Golden River – Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

The King of the Golden River, or, The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria is a children’s story, penned by John Ruskin. Ruskin (1819 – 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist and social thinker. This text was originally written in 1841, for the twelve-year-old Effie Gray, whom Ruskin later married. It is a fairy tale that illustrates the triumph of love, kindness, and goodness over evil – and on its publication in 1851, became an early Victorian classic.

It is also accompanied by a series of dazzling colour illustrations by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). One of the most celebrated painters of the British Golden Age of Illustration (which encompassed the years from 1850 until the start of the First World War), Rackham’s artistry is quite simply, unparalleled. Throughout his career, he developed a unique style, combining haunting humour with dream-like romance. Presented alongside the text, his illustrations further refine and elucidate Ruskin’s masterful storytelling.


With works such as The King of the Golden River, Pook Press celebrates the great Golden Age of Illustration in children’s literature – a period of unparalleled excellence in book illustration from the 1880s to the 1930s.
Our collection showcases classic fairy tales, children’s stories, and the work of some of the most celebrated artists, illustrators and authors.
We publish rare and vintage Golden Age illustrated books, in high-quality colour editions, so that the masterful artwork and story-telling can continue to delight both young and old.
On this website, you can find out about some of our best-selling authors, illustrators, and stories. We also have a full bookshop, an introduction to the Golden Age of Illustration, and a history of the fairy tale itself.

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