Born in Leicester in 1923, Jaques left school at fifteen to study at
the School of Art in that city during the war (1941-42). She went on
to serve with the WRNS during the latter part of the war, whilst simultaneously
continuing her studies at Oxford School of Art under William Roberts
and Bernard Meninsky. In 1946, she moved to the Central School of Art
in London and then went on to become a visiting lecturer at Guildford
School of Art and at Hornsey College of Art.
Jaques began to receive commissions for illustrations while still a
student and, as a freelance artist, she has illustrated many books for
a wide variety of publishers. Perhaps her most high-profile, and certainly
most long-lasting, commission was the great series of illustrations
that she produced for the Radio Times over a 23-year period between
1949 and 1973, from which these black-and-white drawings of scenes from
classic books come. As well as illustrating children's literature by
many famous authors, Jaques has also written three children's books
which she illustrated herself.
Martin comments on one of the present drawings: "She has clearly
studied the character [of Soames Forsyte] and come to a definite view
of what he looked like. Her style of drawing has a flavour of the period,
but this in itself would be no substitute for an accurate reading of
the text." (Martin: 67).
References: Horne: 261; Martin, D. The Telling Line: Essays
on Fifteen Contemporary Book Illustrators, 1989.