- As you probably know by now, I am an ardent fan of Errol Le Cain‘s artwork. He was a key to the design style of Richard Williams’ Cobbler and the Thief and he was involved in the Williams Soho studio from its earliest days.
He was also the illustrator of many children’s books. In the past, I’ve given samples of a number of his books and I still have a few more.
Two of his last books were illustrated adaptations of poems from T.S. Eliot‘s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. This is the same material that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber & Trevor Nunn to write Cats, the Broadway musical.
Cats had its own history as an animated feature, and it currently rests in the hands of Universal Pictures, which owns the rights and has no plans of committing to production. (Perhaps, with Chris Meladandri moving to setup a studio at Universal will change that. See LA Times article.)
Tom Stoppard wrote the last of the scripts for that film. You can get a glimpse of what this film might have looked like from an entry on Hans Bacher‘s site.
Last week a new and useful website was launched to feature Le Cain‘s illustration work.
Here are a sampling of the illustrations from one of the two Le Cain books adapting Cats.
In fact he was the largest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of”The Terror of the Thames.”
To Cats of foreign name and race no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear –
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear.