'Rupert and Sorcerer's Apprentice'.

Marjorie Owens was a British children's book illustrator and oil painter. During the 1990s, she illustrated 'Rupert Bear' children's books as well as original 'Rupert' stories for the Sunday Express.

Illustrator and painter
During the 1940s and 1950s, Marjorie Owens was an illustrator for children's books for Faber & Faber in London. She illustrated 'Montana Adventure' by Lady Kitty Ritson, 'Princess Gwyn' (1946) and 'The Forbidden Holiday' (1946) by Olive Constant Dougan, and 'Judy's Cookery Book' (1955) by Muriel Goaman. She was also a horse trainer and oil painter. She often painted action-filled horse scenes with broad strokes and little detail.

'The Forbidden Holiday' and 'Princess Gwynn'.

Rupert Bear
In the 1990s, Owens was involved in the popular 'Rupert Bear' franchise. Rupert's magical adventures had been a mainstay in the Daily Express ever since their creation by Mary Tourtel in 1920. In the following decades, several artists tried their hand at the iconic bear, the most notable being Alfred Bestall. By the early 1990s, John Harrold was the third official 'Rupert Bear' artist, creating new adventures with his editors, subsequently James Henderson and Ian Robinson.

'Rupert and the Shooting Star' (reprint in the Daily Express, 19 June 1998).

Older 'Rupert' stories were reprinted in color in the Sunday Express since 1981. In 1991 editor Ian Robinson commissioned new, original stories for the Sunday paper as well. He hired illustrators who had not been involved with the character before. Kathleen McDougall illustrated the first original Sunday serial in 1991, after which Marjorie Owens took over for the next twenty stories until 1995. After that point, the Sunday Express returned to reprints. Several Owens stories were reprinted in the Daily Express between 1998 and 2000, appearing in alternation with new John Harrold stories and Bestall reprints.

Marjorie Owens additionally illustrated 'Rupert' children's books, mostly written by Norman Redfern or Ian Robinson. These included the pop-up books 'Rupert and the Old Oak Tree' (1994), 'Rupert and the Angry Imp' (1994) and 'Rupert and the Snow Dragon' (1995) for Methuen Children's Books, board books for Landoll and Award Publications, and another pop-up book for Egmont, 'Rupert and the Balloon Ride' (1995).

'Rupert and the Honey Bees' (reprint in the Daily Express, 19 May 1998).

Series and books by Marjorie Owens you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.