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On this day, a new book about Alfred Bestall, the illustrator of Rupert The Bear, was published, with a foreword by Paul McCartney.
The result of many years’ careful and painstaking research, the author has pieced together the life of her godfather Alfred (‘Fred’) Bestall, who illustrated Rupert Bear in the Daily Express for thirty years (the only day he missed was to make way for Churchill’s war speech). The artwork and his diaries were bequeathed by Fred Bestall to the author with the words ‘you will probably want to make a bonfire of this’- which would have been a tragedy. Caroline Bott has lovingly collected Bestall’s work, ranging from incisive cartoons for Punch to romantic, dreamy watercolours, and of course his Rupert Bear illustrations, with his war-time diaries to paint a remarkable picture of a gentle, very generous man, who was loved by all who met him.From The Life and Works of Alfred Bestall: Illustrator of Rupert Bear – Caroline G. Bott – Google Livres
I never had a teddy bear but, as a boy, I always turned to the Rupert column in my parents’ Daily Express and was particularly fond of the Rupert Christmas annuals. I rediscovered him in the seventies when I started reading bedtime stories to my eldest daughter Heather.
For some reason, I tend to think of Rupert as an eleven-year-old boy – I don’t know why. His attitude is very much “It can be done”; he’s very positive and always has that spark of optimism combined with a certain innocence which I think is what drew me to him in the first place.
For the British, Rupert is an institution – like the Queen. Britain just wouldn’t be the same without him.Paul McCartney – From “The Life and Works of Alfred Bestall, Illustrator of Rupert Bear” by Caroline G. Bott
Last updated on April 11, 2022