de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
.60 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory


Materials received from Victor Ambrus between 1969 and 1986.


Noncirculating; available for research.


The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch

Laszlo Gyozo Ambrus, who writes and illustrates under the name Victor Ambrus, was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1935. He began drawing as a small child and eventually attended the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art for three years, where he studied graphics, etching, lithography, anatomy, and illustration.

In 1956 Ambrus fled Hungary following the failure of the uprising against Soviet occupation. He emigrated to England where he resumed his education at the Royal College of Art in London, from which he graduated in 1960. While studying at the College he met Glenys R. Chapman, whom he married in 1958. Ambrus illustrated his first book during his last year of college, and the publication of one of his drawings in the London Times Literary Supplement eventually led to a number of commissions from publishers to illustrate children's books. Once established, Ambrus became a free-lance illustrator. He has since illustrated more than one hundred books for young people and has written or adapted more than a dozen children's books himself. He prefers to work in clear, brilliant colors, especially when illustrating folk tales.

Ambrus has won many honors and awards for his books. He was twice a runner-up for the Kate Greenaway Medal before he won the award in 1965 for The Three Poor Tailors and again in 1975 for Mishka and Horses in Battle. He is a member of the Royal College of Art, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers.


Scope and Content

The Victor Ambrus Papers contain a photograph of Ambrus, correspondence, illustrations and other materials related to six published books and one unidentified book, and materials related to Christmas cards designed by Ambrus.

The correspondence consists of photocopies of letters and cards to and from the de Grummond Collection. These letters document Ambrus' donations to the collection and his involvement in designing the 1986 de Grummond Collection Christmas card.

Six books illustrated by Ambrus are represented among the papers. For The Henchmans at Home (1970), a connected series of short stories about three young people growing up in late Victorian England, the collection holds one unpublished illustration. Kodi's Mare (1973) is the story of a Navajo boy who steals his horse away from the cruel owner to whom she has been sold, andThe Traitor Within (1973) concerns Chan Wai Ling, a young Chinese Red Guard who must conquer his own fears in order to defend his village against raiding Taiwanese rebels. For these two titles the collection holds one unpublished illustration each. The King's Monster (1980), which tells how a prince dares to face the monster he must defeat in order to win Princess Gabriella's hand in marriage, is full of the brightly colored illustrations for which Ambrus is known. For this title there are five original color illustrations and an unbound proof.

Pauline (1965) is the story of an orphaned English schoolgirl who has problems adjusting to her new life when she is sent to live with her uncle's family. For this title there are thirteen black-and-white illustrations and one color illustration.Young Mark (1967), set in eighteenth-century imperial Russia, relates the fact-based account of a young Ukrainian boy who runs away from home to become a singer in St. Petersburg. For this title the collection holds a dust jacket. Unidentified at present is a pen-and-ink illustration entitled "Miss Peabody," apparently intended to illustrate a book entitled Modern Tales by Barbara Sleigh. No publication data for this book is available.

Also included in the collection are materials related to Christmas cards designed by Ambrus. The Christmas card he designed for the de Grummond Collection in 1986 is represented by two color separations and a printed card. There is also one Christmas card with original artwork and one printed card featuring an illustration by Ambrus.

Series and Subseries


A. Photograph (undated)

B. Correspondence (1969-1986)

C. Books (1965-1980)

D. Unpublished or Unidentified Books (undated)

E. Christmas Cards (1986, undated)


Box Inventory


A. Photograph

     1/1       Of Victor Ambrus, undated, 1 item.

B. Correspondence

     1/2       To and from the de Grummond Collection, 1969-1986, undated,
               15 items.

C. Books

		THE HENCHMANS AT HOME by Hester Burton, illustrated by Victor G. Ambrus (New York:  Crowell, 1970).

     1/3       Illustration, ink, unpublished.

     THE KING'S MONSTER by Carolyn Haywood, illustrated by Victor Ambrus (New York:  Morrow, 1980).

     1/4       Illustrations, colored inks and [acrylic?], pp. 23, 24-25,
               26-27, 28, 30-31, 5 items.

     1/5       Proof, unbound, with dust jacket.

     KODI'S MARE by Bonnie Highsmith, illustrated by Victor Ambrus (New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1973).

     1/6       Illustration, ink, unpublished.

     PAULINE by Margaret Storey, illustrated by Victor Ambrus (Garden City, New York:  Doubleday, 1965).

     1/7       Illustrations, ink, pp. 7-203, 13 items.

     1/8       Illustration, ink, watercolor, acrylic and pastel, [dust

     THE TRAITOR WITHIN by Alexander Cordell, illustrated by Victor Ambrus (Nashville:  Nelson, 1973).

     1/9       Illustration, ink, unpublished.

     YOUNG MARK:  THE STORY OF A VENTURE by E. M. Almedingen, illustrated by Victor G. Ambrus 
     New York:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1967).

     1/10      Dust jacket.

D. Unpublished or Unidentified Books

		"Miss Peabody," from Modern Tales  by Barbara Sleigh.

     1/11      Illustration, ink.

E. Christmas Cards

     1/12      Color separations for de Grummond Christmas card, [1986],    
               2 items.

               Printed Christmas card, de Grummond Collection, [1986].

               Christmas card, acrylic, undated.

               Printed Christmas card, undated.


Processed: January 1992
Revised: June 2001; September 2014

Biographical Sketch| Scope & Content| Related Collections| Series & Subseries| Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

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