The Irvinites

Agnes Miller Parker

Agnes Miller Parker (1895–1980) was an engraver and illustrator. Born in Ayrshire, she spent most of her career in London and southern Britain.


Agnes Miller Parker was born in Britain in 1895, at Irvine, Ayrshire. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1911 to 1917, and joined the staff of the School for a short period.

In 1918 she married the painter, William McCance; and thereafter passed most of her career in London and southern Britain.

In 1955 she moved to Glasgow. She then lived at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. She died in 1980 at Greenock.

Halsby and Harris, in The Dictionary of Scottish Painters (1990) suggest that Parker's early paintings, as well as those of her husband, reflect the short-lived group of artists known as Vorticists, active in London in the 1920s. The main body of her work consists of wood engravings for book illustrations. Halsby and Harris characterize these as demonstrating fine draughtsmanship and skilful use of black and white design. She illustrated The Fables of Aesop (1931), Through the Woods by H. E. Bates (1936), The Open Air by Richard Jefferies (edited by Samuel J. Looker, 1949)[1] and her most acclaimed work, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray (1938), titles for the Limited Editions Club of New York and editions of the works of Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy.

Books illustrated include –

  • Rhoda PowerHow It Happened: Myths & Folk Tales (CUP, 1930)
  • AesopThe Fables of Esope (Gregynog Press, 1933)
  • Rhys Davies et al. – Daisy Matthews and Three Other Tales (GCP, 1932)
  • John SampsonXXI Welsh Gypsy Tales (Gregynog Press, 1933)
  • H. E. BatesThe House with The Apricot (GCP, 1933)
  • Adrien Le Corbeau – The Forest Giant (Cape, 1935)
  • H. E. Bates – Through The Woods (Gollancz, 1936)
  • H. E. Bates – Down The River (Gollancz, 1937)
  • Thomas Gray – Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1940)
  • A.E. HousmanA Shropshire Lad (Harrap, 1940)
  • William ShakespeareRichard II (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1940)
  • Thomas Hardy – The Return Of The Native (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1942)
  • Herbert Furst – Essays In Russet (Muller, 1944)
  • Richard JefferiesSpring Of The Year (Lutterworth, 1946)
  • Richard Jefferies – Life Of The Fields (Lutterworth, 1947)
  • Richard Jefferies – The Old House At Coate (Lutterworth, 1948)
  • Richard Jefferies – Field and Hedgerow (Lutterworth, 1948)
  • Andrew McCormick – The Gold Torque: A Story of Galloway in Early Christian Times (Glasgow: McLellan, 1951)
  • Aloysius Roche – Animals Under The Rainbow (Welwyn: Broad Water press, 1952)
  • Edmund SpencerThe Faerie Queen (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1953)
  • Eiluned LewisHoney Pots and Brandy Bottles (Country Life, 1954)
  • John Cowper PowysLucifer (MacDonald, 1956)
  • Thomas Hardy – Tess of the d'Urbervilles (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1956)
  • Thomas Hardy – Far From The Madding Crowd (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1958)
  • William Shakespeare – The Tragedies (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1959)
  • Thomas Hardy – The Mayor of Casterbridge (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1967)
  • William Shakespeare – Poems (NY: Limted Editions Club, 1967)
  • Thomas Hardy – Jude The Obscure (NY: Limited Editions Club, 1969)


  1. ^ "Life In The Open",(Review of The Open Air), The Glasgow Herald, December 16th, 1948 (p. 3).
  • Ian Rogerson, The Wood Engravings of Agnes Miller Parker (2005. British Library)
  • Agnes Miller Parker (1990. Fleece Press)
  • Halsby, Julian, and Harris, Paul, The Dictionary of Scottish Painters, 1600-1960 (1990. Phaidon Press, Oxford)
  • Ian Rogerson, Agnes Miller Parker: Catalogue of an exhibition of printed books (1983. 2nd. ed. 1989)
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