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Myrtle Sheldon


Information accumulates in strange and wondrous ways. While searching for an image which had once illustrated the children’s stories of Robert Louis Stevenson (for his poem “The Land of Counterpane”) I stumbled upon the name of his illustrator: Myrtle Sheldon [1893-1939], about whom I had been ignorant. That’s the nice thing about ignorance: it can be fixed. Indeed, it invites “repair”.


Ms Sheldon’s talent will appear on the masthead for at least a few days. But I’m certain others of her drawings will come to light and become embedded in the story.

PS [13.08.2022]: Another website, the African-American Registry, includes Myrtle Sheldon but offers different dates (1886-1941) and an alternate birthplace, NYC. Trying to sort this out.


  1. I too have stumbled upon this woman and wanted to know more. All I found was the dates of her birth and death, provided by you. Please tell us more!

  2. Keith Harvey says:

    Hi Audrey, here is what little I know. Tonight, I chanced upon a document I downloaded a few years ago from Project Gutenberg—”A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Illustrated by Myrtle Sheldon”. It’s an e-text identified as “Release Date: November 6, 2006 [eBook #19722]”. I started looking on the web and here I am.

    I had the book as a child in RAF Nicosia, Cyprus in 1957-8 and well recall the excellent and evocative illustrations. I’d always imagined them the epitome of Britishness but I stand corrected! A few of the verses have stuck with me word for word while others seem unfamiliar to me, so I probably returned often to the same few favourites. See https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/108902526/myrtle-sheldon to see where the lady is interred in NY. The Find A Grave contributor is “yrag reltub” (Gary Butler) of https://www.findagrave.com/user/profile/47463227 … he mentioned in 2013 his membership of the Sheldon Family Assn. Happy researches!

  3. quantumnight says:

    Myrtle Sheldon is/was my grandmother. Her married name was Myrtle Blumer. For the record she was born 19 January 1893 in Menomonee, Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States, and died 24 Nov 1939 in Cold Spring, New York. She died long before I was born, but I have a few stories about her from my own mother. Myrtle died when my mother was only nine years old. Myrtle not only was an illustrator and painter, but she also played several musical instruments: piano, banjo, guitar, mandolin, banjolin (a mandolin with a banjo body). She also had a small modern dance troupe in New York City. She was truly an all round artist. Of course all I know comes from my mother and aunt. They were often the models for her drawings and paintings. I actually knew Myrtle’s mother, Estelle Keeler, my great grandmother, when I was a child.

    • What a wonderful story. As you may be able to tell, Agincourt is a fictional place. But we’ve borrowed all sorts of people and things to weave its story. Miss Sheldon’s drawing style is very evocative. Hope you don’t mind her inclusion here.

      • Douglas Oliver says:

        I never mind. Since I never met her, I experience her vicariously through others’ eyes. Art should always be shared and enjoyed.

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