Richard Andre

Writer, Painter, Illustrator

Who was Richard Andre?

Richard Andre (1834-1907) was born as William Roger Snow s the eldest son in a wealthy family. He started studies at Cambridge University but soon dropped out. He was 21 years old when he inherited considerable fortune which lasted only about one year due to his excessive spending. He was practically forced to join the army where he made a career, becoming an officer and being honored with a medal. He served in several military actions in Europe and Asia. While being stationed in Hong Kong he started writing. His first work was titled Sketches of Chinese Life & Character and published in 1860 when he also had his first exhibition.

In the next decade already married William became more and more involved in artistic life, especially in theatre (he wrote several one-act plays) what led to an affair with a married actress from Dublin and a huge scandal. This ended his military career and he decided to abandon the army and his wife. William changed his name to Clifford Merton and started earning a living with writing and illustrating. Clifford Merton was a very prolific author who mainly worked for Dean & Son. Many of his works were published uncredited.

Clifford Merton's true identity was disclosed by his estranged wife around 1880 what led to another scandal and divorce. Clifford Merton disappeared and Richard Andre popped up. Under this pseudonym, he created his best works, including dozens of illustrated editions for very successful author Juliana Horatia Ewing. She died in 1885 but his reputation grew even bigger, bringing him loads of commissions. It's hard to identify all his works yet we estimate there should be at least one hundred books!

Numerous picture books were also rewritten by Richard Andre what occupied a whole section on this site. He didn't stay artist for his whole life because he saw the technological progress and decided to switch to photography and printing where he built very good career.

Enjoy in his work, arranged by sections which will expand when more of Richard Andre's books and more info on his life becomes available.