Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Don't panic you lot, you're not about to get a BIBLE
lesson.  Here's the scoop.  Back around 1971 (certainly no
earlier than 1970), my mother took me to the shops one day
after school and bought me 'The Good Book'.  I no longer
remember exactly what became of it, but I do recall inad-
vertently inflicting some damage to the cover under
the dustjacket, which bothered me somewhat.

A few years later, in 1977 (no later than '78), I saw
its double in another local bookshop and, purely out of a
sense of nostalgia, bought it for myself.  I'd always been fas-
cinated by the interior illustrations of JACK HAYES, a very
talented artist.  In my original copy, there was a note on the
inside of the dustjacket which said that a new process had
been used to reproduce the colour plates, which ren-
dered them almost photographic in appearance.

And it was true!  I used to look at these plates and
marvel at the fact they'd been created by human hands,
rather than being captured by a camera.  In my new copy
there was no such note (being an edition from 1975), and
the illustrations didn't appear quite so photographic in
nature, but they were still exceptional examples of
artistic accomplishment.

When I bought the new copy, I no longer had my
original so couldn't do a direct comparison, alas - but
there was definitely a subtle difference.  Still, it was great
to see the pictures again after all this time.  'All this time'?
In fact, it had only been about six years, but seemed like
a lifetime ago, such is the puzzling passage of time
when one is still a relative youngster.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the illustrations with
you here, just to push the parameters of this blog's con-
tent.  Aren't they fantastic?  I don't know much about the
artist, apart from the fact that he did some paperback book
covers, and some illustrations for LOOK & LEARN mag-
azine.  Let's hear your views about Jack Hayes' work
in the ever-lovin' comments section.


Looking at these pictures now, I'm back in the bed-
room of my old house, so strong is the association in my
mind between the illustrations and where I lived at the time.
However, considering that I had this Bible for only around a
year (perhaps approaching two at the very most) before we
flitted elsewhere, I'm amazed that it now feels like I owned
it for the entire 6 years 7 months I stayed there, rather
than just the short period of time it actually was.


paul Mcscotty said...

Amazing art – I also have a Bible that I got from my aunt when I was about 9 years old that has some amazing art in it as well (pretty sure it’s not Mr Hayes but will check that out). I’ve not heard of this artist before would be good to know if he painted any paperback book covers etc – He would have been great on Conan lol

Kid said...

Yup, he did paint some paperback book covers, PM - said so in the post. Don't think he ever did any for Conan 'though.

Phil S said...

Quite good. I particularly like how Jesus looks a lot more middle eastern than as usually depicted on the 1960s. I swear I've seen his art in other children's books. I remember reading a book about the history of cheese and seeing a painting of middle easterners discovering their milk and curdled and produced cheese. looks like he could have painted it .

Kid said...

Now there's a thing - I wonder if he ever drew for the Ladybird books? I'll have to check.

Colin Jones said...

A belated happy birthday, Kid !! One of my fond memories of childhood was my "Children's Bible" which was full of pictures including painted ones, drawings and even cartoon-like images.

Kid said...

Thanks very much, CJ. Getting nearer to the end of that twig now - going to do my best not to fall off any time soon. Still got your 'Children's Bible' by any chance?

Colin Jones said...

No, all my books from childhood are long gone unfortunately. Another book I remember was one that contained a story or poem for every day of the year. You sound a bit gloomy talking about reaching the end of the twig !

Kid said...

Well, there's nothing to be cheerful about that eventuality, is there, CJ? Who wants to die? Unless one is in terrible pain - or married. (And sometimes there's not much difference between those two scenarios. Me, cynical? Nah!)

TC said...

I had The Children's Bible, and also a children's hardback book called "Heroes of the Bible," or "Bible Heroes," or something similar. I later gave them to my cousin, for her son and daughter, who are now grown, and have children of their own.

The hours crawl, but the years fly.

Kid said...

I wonder if your cousin's children gave them to their own kids, TC? It would be nice to think they were handed down to succeeding generations. "The hours crawl, but the years fly." Too true.

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