Charles Keeping

1924–1988

Biography

Charles William James Keeping (22 September 1924 – 16 May 1988) was an English illustrator, children's book author and lithographer. He first came to prominence with his illustrations of Rosemary Sutcliff's historical novels for children, and he created more than twenty picture books. He also illustrated the complete works of Charles Dickens for the Folio Society.

Keeping won two Kate Greenaway Medals from the Library Association for the year's best children's book illustration, for his own story Charley, Charlotte and the Golden Canary (1967) and for a new edition (1981) of Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman". For the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005), a panel named his edition of The Highwayman one of the top ten winning works, which composed the ballot for a public election of the nation's favourite. He also illustrated The God Beneath the Sea, by Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen, which won the 1970 Carnegie Medal for children's literature. For his contribution as a children's illustrator Keeping was a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1974.

His lithographs have been exhibited in London, Italy, Austria and the U.S., including at the 1958 Fifth International Biennial of Contemporary Color Lithography in Cincinnati. He has prints in many collections, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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