Florence Kate Upton was born in 1873, the second of four children. At the age of 15 she went with her father to evening classes for formal art training, however sadly her father died suddenly.

The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a GolliwoggAt the age of 16 Florence started to work as a professional illustrator. In 1893, at the age of 20 Florence and her family visited her mother’s relatives in London for an extended visit. Florence already had established a reputation from her published work in New York, so she was able to find work quite quickly in London. She decided to stay in London when her family returned to the US.

In order to earn enough to go back to art training she decided to experiment with a few ideas, including sketching out ideas for a children’s book. She could not think of a central character to her stories, and then her aunt found an old toy the family had left behind some time before. It was ‘Golliwog’, and this became just the character Florence needed.

The story of ‘The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg’ was published for Christmas 1895. The last story was published in 1909, Golliwog having had thirteen different adventures.