blackbirdonline journalFall 2012 Vol. 11 No. 2
Phil May

Philip William May was born on April 27, 1864 in New Wortley, Leeds, England. He began doing drawings for hire, though formally untrained, as early as fourteen. The St. Stephens Review in London hired him in 1883 at the age of nineteen. By 1885 he took a position with The Sydney Bulletin in Australia, where he worked for three years. After leaving Australia, May worked in Rome, then Paris, before returning to England in 1892. There, he resumed his drawings for the St. Stephens Review and gained wider fame.

In his later years, he worked for Punch and The Graphic. From 1892–1904 he also published thirteen editions of Phil May's Illustrated Winter Annual with three supplemental Summer Annuals. In addition, he published a number of books, including Phil May's Sketch Book (1895), Phil May's Guttersnipes (1896), Phil May's Graphic Pictures and Phil May's A. B. C. (1897), Phil May's Album (1899), and Phil May, Sketches from Punch (1903).

May died in 1903 at the age of thirty-nine.  end

Image by Phil May (self-portrait)