Sir John Tenniel was born in London and was the son of a dancing master and fencing instructor.
He was a painter, illustrator and cartoonist. Although he attended the Royal Academy Schools he was largely self-taught as a book illustrator and periodical cartoonist. He exhibited between 1835 and 1880 at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists, the New Watercolour Society and elsewhere. He became a member of the Royal Society of Painters and Etchers in 1874. In 1851 he replaced Richard Doyle on the staff of Punch, where he remained until 1901, drawing nearly all the principal cartoons. He illustrated many books, including Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Dicken's The Haunted Man.
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Wood, C. The Dictionary of Victorian Artists, 2nd ed., Woodbridge, 1978; Allingham, P. V., The Victorian Web,; http://22.214.171.124/art/illustration/tenniel/pva65.html (accessed 2003).