It’s not known how the association between James Broome-Lynne and H.E. Bates was first initiated, but it proved to be a very fruitful one. An initial dust jacket for the novella The Cruise of the Breadwinner was followed by covers for six of Bates’s novels and The Country of White Clover.

JamesBroom-Lynne also produced 25 internal illustrations for The Country of White Clover, conveying the characters, flowers, orchards and sea air of Bates’s adopted county of Kent. A limited edition of 100 copies was printed by Unwin Brothers Ltd., on handmade paper, numbered and signed by Bates, and bound by James Burn. Each book had a case of green buckram with a facsimile of the author’s signature stamped on the front cover in gold. These are now collectors’ items, although it should be noted that when this edition of the book was delivered to the publishers, copy No.44 was missing.

James Broom-Lynne’s designs for the first three books in Bates’s Darling Buds of May series of novels, are joyous and full of colour; perfectly capturing the happy-go-lucky ‘joie de vivre’ of the Larkin family.

The Country of White Clover book cover

James Broom-Lynne (born October 31, 1916, in Islington, London), studied at St Martin’s School of Art; he began his career as a graphic designer working for Bill Larkins at his innovative Larkins Studio. The studio produced animated films for industry, and commercials for television and theatre; creating films which were revolutionary in their use of graphic style. As well as working as a freelance illustrator he also worked as a story-board writer in an advertising firm; an art editor for publisher Macdonald and Co.; and lectured in art, at colleges in London and Ipswich.

James Broom-Lynne was also a successful writer: between 1961 and 1970 he wrote 11 plays for television and radio, and 2 more for theatre; His greatest success came with Trigon, which was performed in London and Off Broadway, and at the Helsingborg’s State Theatre in Sweden.

In the late 1960’s he began writing fiction producing 13 novels over a similar number of years, some written under the pseudonym James Quartermain which is thought to have been derived from his grandmother's surname, Quarterman. Broom-Lynne was a modest man who sustained a successful career in all mediums of his work. After his death on 1st December 1995 he was cremated and his ashes interred in the graveyard of St. Mary's church, in East Bergholt, Suffolk, where he and his wife Catherine had resided for most of their married life.

Illustrations and dust jackets:

The Distant Horns of Summer book cover