When I first saw the page this appears on, below a striking pen and ink portrait of a lady, I'd been working at the commonplace for quite some time. At that time, I was looking to see if there were interesting names in the book. I gave the almost no attention... other than being struck by what a fine pen and ink it was. What my eye went to was...
Yes! I was quite excited! AThe creator of the original visual manifestation of Winnie the Pooh, initials E.H.S., put a diagonal line under his name, just as in the above.
But alas, there is something wrong with that picture. (For those who haven't spotted it more quickly than I did, I'll explain later. First some good news.)
At the time, I was so excited by the possibility of a sketch by the man who created (the image of) Pooh, that I quite overlooked something more exciting. In fact the even happier thought did not occurred to me until I'd been working on the book for many more hours. I'd first seen the drawing days before what I explain in a moment occurred to me.
I'm sure you've "got it" immediately?
How is it unreasonable to assume that this is Effie?
Why would a drawing like this in Effie's book be of someone else? (Yes, of course, it could be a good friend, etc.... but what is most likely?)
I suppose part of the reason I was so slow is that I'd built up an image of a rather retiring spinster nurse. But why shouldn't Effie be a bright young thing, a person of privilege? Several things point to it: If he is her father, T.L. obviously had artistic training. Pages of the commonplace I haven't included (and some I have) suggest she was quite well traveled. There are a few pages in languages other than English.
So... I'm going to believe that this is Effie. But please puncture my blissful innocence, if you spot evidence to the contrary.
- - - -
A detail: The date on the painting, 22 February, 1917, is later than any other I have noticed so far. (The page isn't the last in the book, but many entries are out of chronological sequence when compared to the numbers the pages would have if there were page numbers.
Now that we've looked at the subject of the drawing... back to the question of the artist.
Did you spot the problem? The illustrator of Pooh and so many other wonderful things was E.H. Shepard....
Shepard... Shepherd. Easily confused when spoken. But sadly, two different people. Perhaps I can be forgiven for wishing Mr. Shepherd's signature and drawing style were not so much like Mr. Shepard's. Exploring Effie's marvelous commonplace holds enough real delights and moving moments without needing any false alarms to add spice. But, as I've said elsewhere, book collecting can have it's moments!
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