Wednesday, November 22, 2006

T. S. La Fontaine

Thomas Sheridan La Fontaine was a painter and illustrator, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. La Fontaine of St. Albans.

It would seem that T. S. La Fontaine was educated at Tonbridge School and had his artwork exhibited whilst still at school as part of the Public Schools Art Exhibition at the Imperial Art Gallery, Imperial Institute, London, in 1936. La Fontaine appeares to have been something of a sportsman and these were the days when matches between public schools was often covered by newspapers, especially the fortnight at Lords dedicated each year to Public Schools. La Fontaine, for instance, captained the cricket team against Clifton Lords in July 1934, opening the batting and also proving a useful bowler. He was also a member of the rugby and football teams and was a middleweight boxer for the school in 1933-36. He then began playing rugby for Harpenden in 1937-39.

La Fontaine was married to Margaret Sylvia Patrickson Storey at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, on 22 November 1947. At the time, the couple lived at 26 Glebe Place, S.W.3 where they remained until at least 1959. Miss Storey was the daughter of H. L. Storey, of Burton Hill, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, and it would appear that the couple later moved to Malmesbury (in 1974 at least when their younger daughter Jenny S. A. La Fontaine was engaged). Margaret La Fontain died in 2000, aged 79.

La Fontaine contributed to Swift Annual 1 (1954) and went on to illustrate a number of stories for Girl, including various text stories (1955-60) and the comic strip 'Claudia of the Circus' (1957-59). He also later contributed to Look and Learn (1962).

Illustrated Books
The Winged Horse, and other stories by J. D. Bevington & M. S. Bevington. London, Ginn & Co. (Beacon Library), 1952.

(* Illustrations are from the opening episode of 'Claudia of the Circus' from Girl, 10 April 1957, © IPC Media, and the lower illustration is from Look and Learn 26, 14 July 1962, a scene from Black Beauty, © Look and Learn Magazine Ltd.)

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