E. Boyd Smith
(1860 - 1943)
Born in St. John, New Brunswick, and raised in Boston, Elmer Boyd Smith spent several years studying art in France before finally settling in Wilton, Connecticut. While living abroad, Smith absorbed a wide swath of influences ranging from the muted, mystery-laden palette and epic vision of French muralist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes to the dashing graphic shorthand of poster artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
He based My Village (1896), the first of the more than seventy books he illustrated for adults and children, on his summer sojourns in the village of Valombre, near Paris. Like so many artists of his generation, Smith, being acutely aware of living in a time of breathtaking technological and social change, dedicated himself in part to documenting aspects of the everyday world—sail power, the family farm—that he knew to be on the verge of disappearing forever.
Smith’s first two children’s picture books, The Story of Noah’s Ark (1905) and The Story of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith (1906) immediately established him, alongside Howard Pyle and Jessie Willcox Smith, as one of America’s leading illustrators for the young. He was well suited to the calling, thanks not only to his formidable skill as a draughtsman but also because of his genial storytelling manner and knack for conveying useful knowledge in a fresh, unforced, and delightful way.
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Aesop’s Fables (1911)
A large collection of traditional fables. Read for free online at HathiTrust.
What did the animals do after they disembarked from Noah’s Ark? Read for free online at Internet Archive.
Anna Karenina (1899)
A novel of an unhappy family.
His own account of his life by one of the foremost founders of the United States. Read for free online at Project Gutenberg.
The Book of Nature Myths (1902)
An elementary school reader featuring fifty-four nature myths, mainly from Native American sources. Read online at archive.org.
The Boyd Smith Mother Goose (1919)
A copious and scholarly Mother Goose taken from the earliest printed examples. Read for free online at Internet Archive.
Chicken World (1910)
The story of an old black hen who hatches her brood - including two ducks - and teaches them what they need to know. Read for free online at the Brooklyn Public Library.
During the English civil war, a family of children take to the woods to escape from the Parliamentary forces. Read for free online at Google Books.
The Circus and All About It (1909)
The circus in all its glory.
The Country Book (1924)
Two children spend time in the country.
Cressy and Other Tales (1896)
This is volume VII of the Standard Library Edition of the writings of Bret Harte. The title story is a romance of the gold fields. Read for free online at HathiTrust.
This was the author’s first novel, dealing with an elderly bibliophile, his cat and his benefactions.
The Curious Book of Birds (1903)
A collection of folk tales about birds. Read for free online at Project Gutenberg.
The Diary of E. Boyd Smith (2008)
A brief diary written between the years 1882 and 1889.
The Early Life of Mr. Man (1914)
The history of the human race before the flood. Read online at archive.org.
Four bedtime stories told to a little boy by his mother. Read online at Hathitrust.
The Fairy Book (1898)
A large collection of traditional fairy tales. Read for free online at the University of Florida.
Or at archive.org.
Thirty- four French fairy tales from the provinces and colonies. Read for free online at Internet Archive.