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Walter Crane, born on August 13, 1845, was the son of an artist and exhibited at London’s Royal Academy by the age of seventeen. He was apprenticed as a teenager to an engraver for three years before setting out on his own to earn a living as an artist. Crane was soon discovered by the printer Edmund Evans, who had invented a method of color printing and was committed to producing books for children. His first book, The House that Jack Built, was published in 1865, when he was 20 years old. He went on to produce more than 40 children’s books. Crane was one of the first illustrators to concern himself with overall book design, paying attention to endpapers, title pages, and lettering. He was greatly influenced by Japanese prints, William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts movement. He also worked as a designer of wallpaper, textiles, ceramics, and interiors which was reflected in his illustration details. He is credited, along with Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, as ushering in the golden age of book illustration for children. He died in 1915.

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