Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first publication of
Angels on Horseback and elsewhere
Thelwell really understood the English countryside, its animals and people, and appraised with sympathetic eye both horses and the horsey. That is why his drawings adorn the studies of some of the finest equestrians in the country as well as being sure pin-up material in many Pony Club Members' dens. The angels in Angels on Horseback are children, but there is plenty here about their parents. Both for readers of Punch who knew Thelwell, and those who did not meet him before, this book is a savoury at all times - but especially after attending a gymkhana. J. B. Boothroyd writes in the Foreword: 'Punch has had equestrian artists before. In mid-Victorian times it was difficult to open a copy without being trampled. But the creations between the present covers achieve something entirely new: they combine portraiture with caricature, a thing which most artists would hesitate to try with human beings, let alone the more temperamentally elusive and psychologically inscrutable horse. This means that while no horse could possibly look exactly like a Thelwell horse, all Thelwell horses manage to look exactly like horses.'