We have a collection of designs and sketches taken from an album or sketch book belonging to the renowned book illustrator Ethel “Bip” Pares. Each item will be uploaded over a period of time so keep your eyes peeled.
She illustrated some 18 books and was also a prolific book jacket designer, working in this field from the 1920s to at least the late 1950s. It has been calculated that Pares designed in excess of 600 book jackets by 1939 alone. She produced two posters for London Underground and during the 1920s and 1930s designed advertising showcards. During World War Two, Pares drew campaign maps for the ‘Daily Express’ newspaper. Some of her best work appeared on the covers of sci-fi novels, such as E Phillips Oppenheim’s The Dumb Gods Speak (1937) and the same author’s Mr Mirakel (1943), both Near Future tales involving Inventions; her work featured on quite a number of Oppenheim’s non-sci-fi novels, too. She did covers for an impressive array of other crime-fiction writers, including several for Michael Gilbert. Among further authors to receive a plurality of Pares covers was James Hilton; for Goodbye Mr Chips (1934) she did not only the cover but interior Illustrations. Far more central to the genre were her covers for Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker (1937), for Susan Ertz’s Woman Alive (1935) – for which she also did interiors – and for Francis Gerard’s Secret Sceptre (1937). The best of her cover Illustrations are strikingly beautiful; many have an Art Deco sensibility. Her skill in the use of colour was striking, whether muted or bold.