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Topsy and Tim


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About the Author

Jean and Gareth Adamson, creators of the famous Topsy and Tim series met whilst studying art and illustration at Goldsmiths College in the 1950s.

Jean was born in Peckham on 29th February 1928. After attending grammar school until the age of 16, she graduated to Goldsmiths college to study illustration. Gareth Adamson was born on 10th May 1926 in Liverpool and was evacuated to Northumberland during the war. He suffered ill health during his childhood and was in hospital for two years, where he spent most of his time writing stories. After leaving school at age of 14, Gareth returned to Northumberland to continue his creative work by joining an advertising agency.

Jean continued to teach illustration and design at Goldsmiths and also did work for a large animation company. Advertising campaigns she worked on included illustations for the Birds Custard and VAT 69 accounts.

Jean and Gareth met again in London and married in 1957. Having moved to Newcastle they decided to work together on children's books and find an agent. 'I would do the basic subject research and layout,' says Jean, 'and I would sketch out the bare bones of the plot. Gareth would then take over and produce a beautifully crafted storyline. I would then do the illustrations. We made a very good team.' Publishers Blackie expressed interested in taking them on.

At the tim

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