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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Sidney H.
Sime
English painter & illustrator
born 1867- died 1941

Also known as:
Sidney Herbert Sime

Nationality:
English


Biographical Information

The partnership of illustrator Sidney H. Sime and fantasy writer Lord Dunsany (also poet, dramatist, and grand chess master and pistol champion of Ireland) is without peer in the annals of fantasy illustration. It is almost inconceivable to imagine a Dunsany story - with its exquisite fusion of elements from Greek and Celtic myths (Dunsany was friendly with Yeats and the writers of the Celtic Twilight), Arabian Nights adventure, and the solemn harmonies of the Old Testament - without the drawings of Sidney H. Sime. Sime has been called the "greatest imaginative artist since William Blake," and aside from their fin-de-siecle elegance, and delicacy of line recalling Persian miniatures, Sime's drawings manifest that rare faculty of being able to give definitive, and often uncanny, form to the poet's merest suggestions. Sime's work has some of that visionary symbolism of his contemporary, George Frederick Watts.

Even I Too! Even I Too!

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dusany's The Fall of Babbulkund:

"There he alights from his palanquin and goes up to a throne of ivoryset in the garden's midst, facing full westwards, and sits there alone, long regarding the sunlight until it is quite gone. At this hour trouble comes into the face of King Nehemoth. Men have heard him muttering at the time of sunset: 'Even I too, even I too.' Thus do King Nehemoth and the sun make their glorious ambits about Babbulkund."

Hish, Lord of Silence

1905
Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dusany's The Gods of Pegana:

"And when it is dark, all in the hour of Triboogie, Hish creepeth from the forest, the Lord of Silence, whose children are the bats, that have broken the command of their father, but in a voice that is ever so low Hish husheth the mouse and all the whispers in the night; he maketh all noises still."

Hish, Lord of Silence
Good­bye!

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19
How Nuth would have Practised his Art upon the Gnoles

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's How Nuth would have Practised his Art upon the Gnoles:

"All was so silent by that unvalued house that the faded courage of Tonker flickered up, but to Nuth's experienced sense it seemed too silent; and all the while there was that look in the sky that was worse than a spoken doom, so that Nuth, as is often the case when men are in doubt, had leisure to fear the worst. Nevertheless he did not abandon the business, but sent the likely lad with the instruments of his trade by means of the ladder to the old green casement. And the moment that Tonker touched the withered boards, the silence that, though ominous, was earthly, became unearthly like the touch of a ghoul. And Tonker heard his breath offending against that silence, and his heart was like mad drums in a night attack, and a string of one of his sandals went tap on a rung of a ladder, and the leaves of the forest were mute, and the breeze of the night was still; and Tonker prayed that a mouse or a mole might make any noise at all, but not a creature stirred, even Nuth was still. And then and there, while yet he was undiscovered, the likely lad made up his mind, as he should have done long before, to leave those colossal emeralds where they were and have nothing further to do with the lean, high house of the gnoles, but to quit this sinister wood in the nick of time and retire from business at once and buy a place in the country. Then he descended softly and beckoned to Nuth. But the gnoles had watched him though knavish holes that they bore in trunks of the trees, and the unearthly silence gave way, as it were with a grace, to the rapid screams of Tonker as they picked him up from behind -- screams that came faster and faster until they were incoherent. And where they took him it is not good to ask, and what they did with him I shall not say."

How Nuth would have Practised his Art upon the Gnoles
How one came, as was foretold, to the City of Never

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's How one came, as was foretold, to the City of Never:

"But when they came to the heights that venturous rider saw huge and fair to the left of him the destined City of Never, and he beheld the towers of Lel and Lek, Neerid and Akathooma, and the cliffs of Toldenarba a-glistening in the twilight like an alabaster statue of the Evening. Towards them he wrenched the halter, towards Toldenarba and the Under Pits; the wings of the hippogriff roared as the halter turned him. Of the Under Pits who shall tell? Their mystery is secret. It is held by some that they are the sources of night, and that darkness pours from them at evening upon the world; while others hint that knowledge of these might undo our civilization."

How one came, as was foretold, to the City of Never
Mung, the God of Death

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana:

"At the end of the flight of the arrow there is Mung, and in the houses and the cities of Men. Mung walketh in all places at all times. But mostly he loves to walk in the dark and still, along the river mists when the wind hath sank, a little before night meeteth with the morning upon the highway between Pegana and the Worlds."

Mung, the God of Death
The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's Tales of Three Hemispheres:

"And in the wall stood doors like precipices of steel, all studded with boulders of iron, and above every window were terrible gargoyles of stone: and the name of the fortress shone on the wall, write large in letters of brass: 'The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save For Sacnoth.'"

The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth
Tom o' the Roads

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's The Highwayman:

"To and fro, to and fro in the winds swung the bones and the soul of Tom, for the sins that he had sinned on the King's highway against the laws of the King; and with shadows and a lantern through the darkness, at the peril of their lives, came the three friends that his soul had won before it swung in chains. Thus the seeds of Tom's own soul that he had sown all his life had grown into a Gallows Tree that bore in season iron chains in clusters; while the careless seeds that he had strewn here and there, a kindly jest and a few merry words, had grown into the tripple friendship that would not desert his bones."

Tom o' the Roads
The Hoard of the Gibbelins

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's The Hoard of the Gibbelins:

"The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge. Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again."

The Hoard of the Gibbelins
The Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweller

Illustration
Public collection

Added: 2004-08-19

From Dunsany's The Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweller:

"Thangobrind turned round and saw at once what he feared. The spider-idol had not stayed at home. The jeweller put his diamond gently upon the ground and drew his sword called Mouse. And then began that famous fight upon the narrow way in which the grim old woman whose house was Night seemed to take so little interest. To the spider-idol you saw at once it was all a horrible joke. To the jeweller it was grim earnest. He fought and panted and was pushed back slowly along the narrow way, but he wounded Hlo-hlo all the while with terrible long gashes all over his deep, soft body till Mouse was slimy with blood. But at last the persistent laughter of Hlo-hlo was too much for the jeweller's nerves, and, once more wounding his demoniac foe, he sank aghast and exhausted by the door of the house called Night at the feet of the grim old woman, who having uttered once that ominous cough interfered no further with the course of events. And there carried Thangobrind the jeweller away those whose duty it was, to the house where the two men hang, and taking down from his hook the left-hand one of the two, they put that venturous jeweller in his place; so that there fell on him the doom that he feared, as all men know though it is so long since, and there abated somewhat the ire of the envious gods."