Friday 11 September 2020


In these pandemic times, nearly all book sales are through online retailers such as Amazon. The high street is facing an existential crisis. As an author, I would love the readers of my biography of Jago Stone to take that extra step, if they have savoured their time with my book, and post a review. My publisher, Unicorn PG, is encouraging its authors to get as many online reviews as possible and to get their books highlighted on social media by friends and family as this really is the only route to the market at the moment. 

Please, if you can help in the marketing of the book in any way, it would be very appreciated. The first print run of Jago's biography is 1,000 copies - and we still have some way to go to clear the warehouse. We're doing well enough in the circumstances but efforts such as mine now can make a difference - how much of a difference depends on you. 

Many thanks in advance for any more reviews that may now appear matching those below. All these are important and much appreciated.

Finally in this introduction, the link to online retailers for any reader who has not got his or her own copy - or wants to buy now a present for a birthday or for Christmas, for a friend or family member:      

Kenneth Griffith and Jago Stone - Notley Arms, Exmouth - 1969

My biography of Jago Stone now has eleven 5-star reviews on Amazon in the UK and ten in the USA. 

To celebrate here is a medley of those reviews with a range of Jago Stone's artwork:

This one is from David and carries the title: A Fascinating Read. It was posted on 11 June 2020.

"This is a wonderful book. It slowly reveals the layers of a man. From a difficult upbringing, he became a criminal, an artist, a story teller and a show man. Someone who lived a carefree lifestyle because that's the direction society helped point him towards. If you don't fit in anywhere, you make your own space.

The book is unusually written too. almost like a detective story as you follow in the author's footsteps as

he tracks and traces the life of his subject. Well researched, well written.

The paintings are a bonus. Which may seem an odd statement in a book about an artist and his art and which is well stocked with paintings. However it highlights the quality of the text."

Untitled - Jago Stone (1987) - Private collection

And this from Jean, under the title: Jago Stone, the lovable rogue. It was posted on 7 June 2020.

"I really enjoyed this book. Jago Stone visited the village I lived in in 1984 and painted many houses including my Tea Shop and Village stores. He was quite a character and I often wondered what happened to him. Rob Donovan, the author, has answered all my questions. He did some serious detective work on finding all the information for the book and there are some fascinating stories in it. It was great to know that this gift lives on in his son Merlin Porter who is also a very talented artist."

Untitled - Jago Stone (1983) - Merlin Porter family collection

Julia Bush posted this comment on 28 April 2020. It is headlined: Love him or hate him?

"Artist and one-time burglar Jago Stone springs back to life from the pages of this enjoyable book. Jago's life was full of surprises both pleasant and unpleasant. His undeniable artistic gifts developed during a long spell in prison and sustained him for the rest of his life. Rob Donovan's patient detective work invites readers to make up their own minds about a villain? a hero? or both? An intriguing book, beautifully illustrated."

Untitled miniature - Jago Stone (1986) - Jessica Raber collection

P.Hendry was almost the first to submit a review. His came on 23 March 2020, under the heading: A unique story about an equally unique artist.

"I'm about half-way through the book which is so clear in its writing style and the story most intriguing, especially as it all really happened. 

Anyone with an ounce of artistry about them would love to read this story of Jago Stone."

The Gate - Jago Stone (1977) - Alfred Scaraglino collection

Y.M Jackson did post the first review, on 6 March 2020, titled: Superbly written book.

"This is the most interesting and well written book that I have read in years! A really fascinating read."

My Fair Lady - Jago Stone (1980) - Hollie Hetz collection

Publication in the USA came on 6 June 2020, a couple of months later than in the UK. Here is Doug's American review on 20 June 2020, headed: A gorgeous gem of a book.

" 'The Remarkable Life of Jago Stone' tells the story of a talented artist who deserves wider renown, and who also happened to live a very colorful life. Jago is the sort of larger-than-life character who seems to belong to a bygone era, and author Rob Donovan paints a vibrant picture of the man and the times he inhabited. It is a quirky slice of British (and American) history and I savored every bit of it. As a bonus, the book is loaded with gorgeous full color images, so even once you have finished reading you will find yourself returning time and time again just to thumb through the pages and soak it all in. The book is a steal at any price -- I dare say Jago would approve."

Untitled - Jago Stone (1971) - Stan Grayland collection

And on 2 July 2020, this American review was posted by Rodney Scheid, under the title: A fun and fast read.

"As I continued to read about this amazing and sometimes complicated life of Jago Stone, I could only imagine who would play him in the movie. There are so many turns this man makes in his life and being an amazing artist is only the tip. I encourage everyone who may have had this connection while in England to read. You may see a friend or two who have had the pleasure of crossing paths with Jago." 

Henley on Thames - Jago Stone (1975) - John Adamski family collection

I hope you have enjoyed this encounter with Jago - I am sure the spirit of Jago will be relishing this journey of appreciation.    


  1. Having met Jago in my teens and lived with his paintings acquired by my parents I have so enjoyed this journey of discovery and all the stories people shared. It has be great to be a part of this as well as making a very supportive creative friendship with Jessica who met Jago as a child - she paints and I make textile art.

  2. Jago works in mysterious ways! 😁