Charles Henry Bennett

British 🇬🇧 1828 - 1867

Charles Henry Bennett (1828–1867) was a British illustrator and caricaturist, celebrated for his humorous and satirical works. Born in Covent Garden, London, Bennett was largely self-taught, with his first sketches appearing in the comic magazine Diogenes in 1853. He excelled in caricature, notably in his “Shadows” series, which presented comical human figures casting clever animal silhouettes. Bennett’s adaptation and illustrations for “The Fables of Aesop and Others Translated into Human Nature” showcased his originality and sophistication. His work for John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” and contributions to Punch magazine further solidified his reputation as a talented illustrator and satirist.

Bennett's unique style of 'illusion' picture books, such as "Shadows," was so popular with young readers and so fragile in construction that few originals have survived to the present day, making them rare and coveted by collectors.