Sir John Tenniell made his original drawings for Alice in Wonderland on boxwood blocks which were then engraved by the Dalziel brothers. The engravers advised Lewis Carroll that the engraved blocks shouldn’t be used for printing the illustrations in the books because it would wear them down and they were instead used as the masters from which electrotype copies were made.
Tenniel was also the chief political cartoonist for Punch magazine working there for over 50 years.
Being a staunch defender of empire, his cartoons depicted the Irish nationalists as monstrous apes. Also, as India threw off British rule and the British public cheered the massacres of Indian civilians, Tenniel did his part by depicting the British lion savaging a Bengal Tiger. Another cartoon showed an overmatched policeman with only a baton to protection himself fighting off a menacing domestic hooligans. No doubt he would have strongly approved of the Darth Vader protective gear of the cops along with guns, tasers and pepper spray valiantly battling the 80 year old grandmothers at OWS protests.
For some odd reason we rarely see these lesser-known works by Tenniel.
But most recall the lovely innocent Alice illustrations.