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Joyce Dennys (1893-1991)

Illustrator, painter and writer, born Isabelle Dorothy Joyce Dennys in Simla, East Punjab State, India. Soon after studying at Exeter School of Art, Dennys worked served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), in World War I and designed propaganda posters for the recruitment for the Women's Royal Naval Service. From the early 1930's she contributed sketches and cartoons to Punch, Harper's Bazaar and even designed cigarette adverts. However, she made her name as a writer of the 'Doctor Dose' books in the 1930's and in World War II wrote humorous articles for The Sketch magazine, reprinted in book form in the 1980's as Henrietta's War and Henrietta Sees it Through, followed by plays and a West End musical, Kookaburra.


During the postwar years Dennys illustrated plays published by Samuel French, London, including ‘Call Back Yesterday: Six Period Plays in Rhyme’ (1948) by Dorothy Law, ‘Sheppey: a Play in Three Acts’ (1948) by W. Somerset Maugham, ‘A Circle: a Comedy in Three Acts’ (1948) by W. Somerset Maugham, and ‘Home and Beauty: a Farce in Three Acts’ (1951) by W. Somerset Maugham. She returned to her oil painting aged 70, initially flowers and later pictures of Budleigh Salterton, Devon. Budleigh Salterton Town Council, the Fairlynch Museum and the Imperial War Museum have examples of her work.


Bibliography: 

  • Our Hospital ABC, illustrated by Joyce Dennys, verses by Gordon Hampden. Published by John Lane, the Bodley Head, 1916
  • For Adults Only by Beverley Nichols, illustrated by Joyce Dennys. Published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1932.

There was a Young Lady-and other limericks written and illustrated by Joyce Dennys. Published by Collins, London, 1937.

Mrs Dose the Doctor's Wife written and illustrated by Joyce Dennys. Published by John Lane, 1930.

The Over-Dose and illustrated by Joyce Dennys. Published by John Lane, 1933.

And Then There Was One by Joyce Dennys. Published by Tabb House, Padstow, 1984 and reprinted by Isis, Oxford, 1999. ISBN: 0753150964.


With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

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