Joan Hassall was born in Notting Hill in 1906. During the war she taught illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, replacing the tutor while he was away on war duties, and this Scottish connection influenced much of her work. She went on to design editions of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses and Burns’s poems, and illustrated Eric Linklater’s Sealskin Trousers, in which this lobster appears. Hassall was widely recognised for her work; in 1972 she was elected the first lady Master of the Art Workers’ Guild, and was awarded the OBE in 1987.
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