Mabel Lucie Attwell was born at Mile End, London, on 4 June 1879, daughter of Augustus Attwell, a butcher, and his wife Emily Ann, née Harris. She was educated at the Coopers' Company School, and later took art classes at Regent Street and Heatherley's art schools.

After her earliest published drawings appeared in The Tatler and The Bystander, she found representation by the agents Francis and Mills. From 1900 she was a prolific illustrator of children's books. She married the painter and illustrator Harold Earnshaw in 1908, with whom she had three children. Earnshaw lost his right arm in the First World War, after which Attwell was the main breadwinner of the family.

She drew comic strips in Playbox from 1909, and Laughter, the comic supplement to Passing Show magazine, in 1936-37. She also designed posters, postcards, calendars and advertisements, and her name became particularly associated with idealised, cute drawings of children. The Lucie Attwell Annual was published from 1922 to 1974, a series of Lucie Attwell Picture Books from 1924.

She died at home in Fowey, Cornwall, on 5 November 1964. Her daughter, Peggy Wickham, assisted her in her later work and became an illustrator in her own right.


  • Brian Alderson, "Attwell , Mabel Lucie (1879–1964)", rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2010, accessed 23 May 2014
  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 5

External linksEdit

Online referenceEdit

Wikia: Women in Comics

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