A hundred years after his birth, he remains Britain’s greatest modern cartoonist and illustrator Books, arts and culture WhatsApp TWENTIETH-CENTURY Britain produced no greater nor more distinctive graphic artist than Ronald Searle. He was born 100 years ago, in March 1920, and lived to be 91, publishing to the very end of his long life and leaving behind a body of work astonishing in its richness and variety. Even people who don’t know his name would probably recognise his style—its combination of comic exuberance and rococo, quasi-gothic seediness—and may well have bought some of it in greeting-card form. […] The “Molesworth” tetralogy was written with delicious wit and invention by Geoffrey Willans, who died in 1958, and illustrated with dazzling, macabre brio by Searle. […] In what was then (as now) a country riven by class, ruled by the products of Eton and Harrow, Searle turned his wry gaze upon the subject by dishing up schoolboy japes at St Custard’s, a minor private school.
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