A Bunch of Wild Flowers

Ida Renoul OuthwaiteIda Rentoul Outhwaite, aka Ida Sherbourne Rentoul and Ida Sherbourne Outhwaite (9 June 1888 – 25 June 1960) was an Australian illustrator of children’s books. Born in Carlton, the youngest child of four; and second daughter of the Reverend Dr. John Laurence Rentoul; an Irish born Presbyterian minister and academic, and his wife Annie Isobel (née Rattray); Ida was educated at (PLC) Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne.

She married Arthur Grenby Outhwaite on 8 December,1909 and thereafter was generally known as Ida Rentoul Outhwaite.  Her first illustration was published by the New Idea magazine in 1904 when she was just 15 years of age. It accompanied a story written by her older sister, Anne Rattray Rentoul.

Publications carrying Ida’s illustrations include:

  • Mollie’s Bunyip (1904);
  • Mollie’s Staircase(1906);
  • Gum Tree Brownie and Other Faerie Folk of the Never Never (1907);
  • Before the Lamps are Lit (1911);
  • Elves and Fairies (1916);
  • The Enchanted Forest (1921);
  • The Little Green Road to Fairyland (1922);
  • The Little Fairy Sister (1923);
  • The Sentry and the Shell Fairy (1924);
    Fairyland (1926);
  • Blossom: A Fairy Story (1928);
    Bunny and Brownie: The Adventures of George and Wiggle (1930).

Along with her illustrative work, Ida’s work is depicted in four stained glass windows in an adjoining hall at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Fitzroy; and in 1985 she was honoured on a postage stamp, depicting an illustration from Elves and Fairies, issued by Australia Post.

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