Ronald Searle, 'And this is Rachel - our head girl'

Ronald Searle, 'And this is Rachel - our head girl'

Ronald Searle
'And this is Rachel - our head girl'
1951
Illustration for 'Back to the Slaughterhouse' (London: Macdonald & Co., 1951)
Museum no E.5492-1958

Ronald Searle made this image for Lilliput magazine, but it later appeared in the book Back to the Slaughterhouse in 1951. Searle created the infamous girls' school, St Trinians, in October 1941 with a cartoon in Lilliput magazine. These cartoons were later collected and published as books starting with Hurrah for St Trinians in 1948. His St Trinians characters also inspired a series of films.

With a distinctive and lively pen and ink style, which has become blotchier and more angular in later years, Searle is one of the most recognisable British artists. His work is distinguished by its humour. As biographer Russell Davies said: 'He was not making the world look funny, but experiencing it as funny; it was less a style than a psychological condition'. Searle started work at just 15 years old as a professional cartoonist for the Cambridge Daily News. He continued to work for newspapers and magazines, including Punch, well into the 1950s. Since then he has produced numerous illustrated books including Merry England, etc (1956), The Illustrated Winespeak (1983) and Slightly Foxed but Still Desirable (1989).

This image can be found in Print Room Box 1.