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Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

A photo of Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy dressed as Lady Bracknell and Miss Prism from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy 

are Lady Bracknell and Miss Prism from The Importance of Being Earnest, (1899), bOscar Wilde

About Shirley 

Shirley Hughes was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool. She studied fashion design at the Liverpool School of Art and art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, where she was encouraged to work in the picture book format. She then moved to Notting Hill, London, and embarked on a freelance career, illustrating books by Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Dorothy Edwards and many others. When her children were young, Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books, starting with Lucy and Tom’s Day, which was published in 1960. She has illustrated more than 200 books for other people and written over 70 of her own stories, including the Alfie series, the Olly & Me series and the much-loved Dogger, which was voted the favourite illustrated book ever to win the Greenaway Award.

About Clara

Clara Vulliamy is the daughter of Shirley Hughes and her architect husband, John Vulliamy. Clara went to university to study history, but after three days realised her mistake and moved to art school, studying at the Chelsea School of Art, the Ruskin School in Oxford and the Royal Academy in London. After illustrating for magazines and newspapers, she started creating her own picture books when her children were small. Her book series include Martha and the Bunny Brothers, Lucky Wish Mouse, Muffin, and Dixie O’Day, a car-driving dog, created jointly with her mother. Clara lives in Twickenham with her husband and two grown-up children and shares her attic studio with three guinea pigs.

Q&A with Cambridge Jones