Romantic Illustration Network 

U3A Workshops 2017

RIN has entered an exciting new partnership with House of Illustration to host a series of three workshops for members of the University of the Third Age (U3A). Each workshop includes a seminar by a current RIN member on some aspect of the history of illustration, a special gallery tour and a practical session in which a professional illustrator will lead all of us as we create art of our own. No prior knowledge or artistic training is expected – the goal of each event is learning for the pleasure of learning. All events are open U3A members and their friends.

Real Life in London: 200 Years of Illustrating the City

How did illustrators depict the people of the 19th-century city? How would you draw your fellow Londoners now? A talk and workshop exploring the depiction of London.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

11:00am – 2:30pm

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BH

Book your ticket online here.

Dr Mary Shannon will discuss the history of illustrating London in the Victorian period, considering the role of illustration in Charles Dickens’ famous texts about London, and looking at the 19th-century writing that inspired him: serials such as Pierce Egan’s Life in London, journalism such as Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and The London Poor and novels by rival writers such as GWM Reynolds (The Mysteries of London). The focus will be on the illustrators who helped create these works.


Illustrator Merlin Strangeway will then lead a hands-on workshop exploring key elements of the growing discipline of urban sketching: the practice of drawing on location to capture people and place. No experience is necessary and all materials will be provided.


Mary L. Shannon is a Senior Lecturer in the English & Creative Writing department at the University of Roehampton, London. Her book Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street won the 2017 Colby Prize and was shortlisted for the 2017 University English Early Career Prize.

Merlin Strangeway (née Evans) is a professional illustrator, passionate about recording the world in all its detail.  Her work spans commercial, educational and medical illustration, and she is currently undertaking an MA in Medical Art.  She has delivered education work for House of Illustration for seven years, and has collaborated with the University of Roehampton’s Romantic Illustration Network on previous workshops with U3A and schools.