Finding Aid for the W. Heath Robinson
The Child's Arabian Nights, [1903?]
Cataloged by Jonathan Naito with assistance from Jain Fletcher and Laurel McPhee, September 2004; machine-readable finding
aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
UCLA Library Special Collections staff
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: W. Heath Robinson
The Child's Arabian Nights
Date (inclusive): [1903?]
Collection number: 170/448
Robinson, W. Heath, 1872-1944.
94 leaves : paper, ill. ; 258 x 188 mm, bound to 265 x 203 mm.
Abstract: The manuscript consists of 84 pen and ink and watercolorimages by the famous British illustrator and humorist W. Heath Robinson
The Child's Arabian Nights (London: Grant Richards, 1906).
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special
Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special
Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright
and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
[Identification of item], W. Heath Robinson
The Child's Arabian Nights (Collection 170/448). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.
UCLA Catalog Record ID
Cataloged by Jonathan Naito with assistance from Jain Fletcher and Laurel McPhee, September 2004,in the Center For Primary
Research and Training (CFPRT).
William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) was born into a family of artists and craftsmen in Islington, North London. After a failed
attempt to establish himself as a landscape painter, he became an illustrator, joining his father and older brothers Tom and
Charles in the trade. His early work includes illustrations for
Hans Christen Andersen's Fairy Tales (1897),
Don Quixote (1897 and 1902),
The Arabian Nights (1899), and
The Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe (1900); a brief association with the publisher Grant Richards led to the publication of a children's book which Robinson
both illustrated and wrote,
The Adventures of Uncle Lubin (1902). More ambitious illustrations include those for Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" (1908) and "Midsummer Night's Dream"
A Song of the English (1909), Kingsley's
The Water-Babies (1915), and
The Works of Rabelais (1904). After World War I, the market for finely illustrated books declined and Robinson turned toward humorous subjects,
producing illustrations for weeklies including
The Bystander, and
The Sketch. Today, he is best known for his drawings of overly complicated machines that carry out simple and often ridiculous tasks;
the contraptions known as Rube Goldberg machines in the United States are referred to as Heath Robinsons in Britain.
Scope and Content
The manuscript consists of 84 images created in 1903 by W. Heath Robinson for
The Child's Arabian Nights, the third and final book that he illustrated for the publisher Grant Richards. This was Robinson's second opportunity to
produce illustrations for
The Arabian Nights---the first being in 1899---but his first chance to serve as lone illustrator. The Child's Arabian Nights was Robinson's
first attempt to produce a significant number of color plates. The manuscript includes full-color proof copies for all twelve
color plates found in
The Child's Arabian Nights, with pen and ink and full-color watercolor drafts of each. Also included are proof copies and pen and ink originals of 26
line drawings produced for the book, with a sketch titled "The Talkative Barber" that is marked "unused". The manuscript also
includes a table of contents from the rare children's book.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Robinson, W. Heath (William Heath), 1872-1944. Child's Arabian nights --Illustrations.
Genres and Forms of Material
Beare, Geoffrey. The Art of William Heath Robinson. London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2003.
ff. 4r-5r: Watercolor and color proof of the title page for
The Child's Arabian
ff. 6r-11r: Illustrations for "The Fisherman", including 1 color proof
ff. 12r-18r: Illustrations for "The Magic Horse", including 1 color proof
ff. 19r-29r: Illustrations for "Aladdin" (Parts 1 and 2), including 1 color proof
ff. 30r-36r: Illustrations for "Ali Baba", including 1 color proof
ff. 37r-43r: Illustrations for 'The Sea Monster' (Sinbad's First Voyage), including 1 color
ff. 44r-50r: Illustrations for "The Valley of Diamonds" (Sinbad's Second Voyage), including
1 color proof
ff. 51r-57r: Illustrations for "The Old Man of the Sea" (Sinbad's Fifth Voyage), including 1
ff. 58r-64r: Illustrations for "Abu", including 1 color proof
ff. 65r-71r: Illustrations for "Alvaschar" (Barber's Fifth Brother), including 1 color
ff. 72r-78r: Illustrations for "Shakalik" (Barber's Sixth Brother), including 1 color
ff. 79r-85r: Illustrations for "The Fish-Bone" ("The Hunchback"), including 1 color
ff. 86r-87r: Illustrations of a boy reading, pen and ink
ff. 88r: Illustration with the caption "The Talkative Barber"; holograph note:
ff. 89v-90r: Table of contents for
The Child's Arabian Nights has been sewn into the