Eric Fitch Daglish Biography

Eric Fitch Daglish




From a biography by his son:

Eric Fitch Daglish was born in Islington, London in 1892, the son of James William Daglish and Kate Annie Fitch. The family originated in Whickham, County Durham - and had arrived in London in the mid 19th century, via France and Somerset! The family established a business in the area - firstly in cabinet making and upholstery and later as overmantel mirror makers.

Daglish studied in London and in Bonn, Germany, before the outbreak of the First World War. During the war, he served in the Middlesex Imperial Yeomanry and the Royal Field Artillery in Ireland, Flanders and France. When the conflict ended, he continued in Army life as Officer in charge of education at Woolwich Garrison until 1922. The family then moved out of London to the Buckinghamshire Chilterns, where he could pursue his lifelong interest in the natural history. His first of many books was published in 1923.

He became a member of the Society of Wood Engravers, which revived the art first developed in the 18th and 19th centuries by Thomas Bewick and others. Fellow members of the society were his close friends the brothers John and Paul Nash, and Eric Gill who lived close by. More information about wood engraving can be found at the web site of the Society of Wood Engravers.

Daglish used wood engravings as illustrations in many of his books. Most wood enravings are black and white, but it was also possible to hand colour these - as was done in the book Birds Of The British Isles, the cover of which shows a color wood engraving of goldfinches. He also illustrated books by other authors, including Walton’s Compleat Angler.

His wood engravings are in the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Art galleries of Liverpool and Manchester, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

Daglish died in 1966.