Barbara Constance Freeman was born on 29 November 1906 in Ealing, near
London. She attended the Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames
in Surrey and later studied at the Kingston School of Art.
She illustrated many books, including The Treasure Hunters
by Enid Blyton, and many collections of fairy tales, both traditional
tales by Grimm and Andersen and modern stories. Some of her earliest
illustrations are found in The Cuckoo Book (1942), a book of fairy
tales by Edith Mary Bell. She also contributed to comics, including
Playhour, and to annuals, such as, Blackie’s Children’s Annual 1934.
By the 1960s she had begun writing and illustrating her own books for
children and young adults. Some have a touch of fantasy: in Two-thumb
Thomas the eponymous hero is raised by school cats; in Broom-Adelaide,
a fox rides a flying broomstick. Some, including Lucinda and The Name
on the Glass, are set in the past, while in others, such as A Book by
Georgina and The Other Face, the lives of the main characters are
interwoven with history.
Her artwork is both clean-cut and
winsome: an unmistakable style. Some of her illustrations are still in
print as posters and art prints.
We are grateful to David Buckman for assistance.