Friday 29 November 2019


Good morning! Getting my biography of Jago Stone, the remarkable English artist, to the printers has been a bit of a roller-coaster - but I think we are there. Here is my latest Mailchimp newsletter about matters relating to my writing and in particular the story of Jago and his art, recirculated and updated with some fresh material. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in the telling of the remarkable life of Jago Stone (1928-88).


It's been a couple of months since I created a Mailchimp newsletter; the last one in September was promising publication in December and explaining that the publisher's, Unicorn, had apologised for not being in a position to get the book out on October 1 as planned. Too much remained to complete.

These last two months have seen some progress but there have been further frustrations and delay. The quality of ten of the images in the book remained a problem until last week when at last all the images were passed as acceptable. I completed yet another final proof-read yesterday. The text is with the indexer and then it will go to the printer. I haven't been told when the new publication date is but it won't now be December 1.

You can of course still pre-order a copy, both here in the UK and the United States. Below, there are links to Waterstones and Amazon and an American website that a Google alert presented to me:



American website:

I haven't received any new stories about Jago or images of his paintings other than the material that I weaved together in the Australian Connection blogpost that I published in October - but I will, though, use this newsletter as an opportunity to show you the paintings that came our way through the Bertie Barrett and George Newsom pathway. Do dig around in the blog archive to find that story.

Butter Cross: Witney, Oxon - Jago Stone (1971)

The Australian Connection blogpost did lead to a delightful email exchange between Becky Bender in South Dakota and me. Becky is my very first American connection who gifted me in 2016 a remarkable story and images truly worthy of Jago. Here are sections of that email exchange last month, starting with Becky:

"Just finished reading your blog about Australia and the Jago connection. It's a small world with internet connections and it also goes to show what an amazing character Jago was! 
I want to tell you what my explanation was for the 'Ride a Cock Horse' nursery rhyme. I was told by an older lady who had lived in Banbury for a long time that the Fine lady probably referred to some lady of the Fiennes family. I believe they owned a lot of the land around Banbury long ago? The cock horse was described as an additional horse(s) kept at the top of the hills or bottom, to be hitched to heavy wagon loads to assist as a braking horse or pulling horse. Banbury is set way down in hills all around it. I always loved that rhyme as a little girl and could picture myself with rings on my fingers and bells on my toes, riding a big white horse around a cross. I also thought the cross was just that - a cross. Imagine my surprise when I first saw it and foud it was like a huge cake with a cross on the top. I drove around that roundabout and around the cross a ton of times when I first had my horse in livery north of Banbury. Then I could think, 'Ride a cock horse, Round Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a brown (white) horse. With rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes!'   I miss my Wally horse a lot sometimes!"

The Old Wool Market, Chipping Campden - Jago Stone (1970)

I replied:

"Your Banbury 'older lady' contact sounds as though she was onto something when she referenced the Fiennes family to explain a 'fine lady'. When we were living in Suffolk, we got to know through our Catholic church Jennifer Lash,  a very talented writer and artist who had married Mark Fiennes, a photographer and member of this Fiennes family that can trace its origins back to Norman times and has connections with the royal house of Windsor. Jennifer brought into the world six children who have all had extraordinary lives, some more well-known than others. They are Ralph, Magnus, Sophie, Martha, Jacob and Joseph. I too love the imagining of you riding on Wally around Banbury Cross! Do you have any pictures of Wally? And may I use your stories from this email in a future blogpost?"

The Rollright Stones - Jago Stone (1971)

Thank you, Becky,  for giving me permission.

Untitled - Jago Stone (1971)

If you know anyone you think might be interested in these mailings about 'Jago' please encourage them to follow the link to my website. Here it is: They can join you as subscribers - 66 to date. 

Yew Tree Cottage, Bodicote, Oxon. - Jago Stone (indecipherable, but probably 1971)

You can also use this page to access all my Jago Stone blogs. The blog-posts are also there for your enjoyment - and comments. Press this link here to start accessing these posts:

New College, Oxford - Jago Stone (1971)

I hope you have enjoyed these images only one of which will you find in the biography. 


That's the end of the Mailchimp newsletter. I thought I'd close on a personal note of thanks to an American source for the Jago biography who has been invaluable - Michael Mort. Michael messaged me in the last few days about getting a signed copy of the biography when it's published and we're working out the best way to achieve that. Here, now, I'd like to share one image that Michael has gifted me - this as my taster for the biography and Chapter Seven: The American Connection, in particular.

It was late May in 2017 when Michael made Facebook contact with me from Abilene, Texas. By the end of 2017, I had been gifted three images of Jago in 1977 painting Michael's home in Swalcliffe near Banbury, Oxfordshire. Here's one of them:

Jago Stone at work in 1977  - (Michael Mort photo collection)

Wow! The artist at work, in communion with his talent. Thank you so much, Michael. 


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