Simon Houfe describes Nicholson as a “draughtsman, illustrator, engraver, and sculptor . . . [who] excelled in equestrian subjects, some of which he modelled in plaster.” The principal artist for Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper from 1853 to 18747, he also contributed to The Illustrated Times during the same years. The Complete Works of Shakspeare [sic] (1839-42) appears to be one of the few books he illustrated, and he is one of the artists listed on the work’s title-page. This lavishly illustrated three-volume edition of Shakespeare included headpieces, tailpieces, and many illustrations integrated in the text by Kenny Meadows, the first artist listed on the title-page. It also contains three other kinds of illustrations, each of which appeared on a separate page: portraits of Shakespeare’s heroines, portraits of famous actors and actresses in their roles in specific plays, and, finally, full-page depictions by Nicholson of scenes from individual plays.

Illustrations of Shakspeare


The Complete Works of Shakspeare [sic] Containing the Illustrations of Kenny Meadows, Frith, Nicholson, Courbould, Hayter, etc.. Volume 3. London and New York: The London Printing and Publishing Company, n.d. [1839-42] Hathi Trust online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 12 August 2021.

Houfe, Simon. The Dictionary of 19th Century Book Illustrators. Rev ed. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. 1996.

Last modified 13 August 2021