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Drawing - Illustration for the BBC Jackanory edition of "Thanks to Jennings"
  • Illustration for the BBC Jackanory edition of "Thanks to Jennings"
    Blake, Quentin
  • Enlarge image

Illustration for the BBC Jackanory edition of "Thanks to Jennings"

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1969 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Blake, Quentin (draftsman)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and grey watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Eileen Buckeridge

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 105

This drawing in pen, ink and watercolour is one of a series of five that Quentin Blake made to accompany the book “Thanks to Jennings” that was narrated by Ronnie Corbett on Jackanory in 1969. The illustration is of a large scale as it was made to be shown on television. In this illustration Darbyshire, Jennings’ best friend, is shown talking to the house master, Mr Carter, who is sat in an armchair, writing in an exercise book. A bespectacled man with a briefcase enters through the open door behind Darbyshire. Blake has captured Darbyshire’s awkwardness at interrupting Carter by showing him resting his weight on his right foot and holding his arms at his sides. This contrasts with the patience of Carter who pauses and looks calmly at Darbyshire.

“Thanks to Jennings” comes from a series of 25 Jennings books which Anthony Buckeridge (1912-2004) wrote between 1950 and 1994. These humorous children’s books were set in a boy’s boarding school during the years after World War Two. The humour of the books draws on the combination of this setting with the misunderstandings resulting in the actions of by the impulsive Jennings his more cautious best friend, Darbyshire. This illustration explores the contrasting characters of Darbyshire and the older house master to convey the suspense of the arrival of the third character from the doorway.

Physical description

A room with a standing man at its entrance, a man sitting on a couch near a table on the right, and a little boy talking to him.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1969 (made)


Blake, Quentin (draftsman)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and grey watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'1' in pencil in bottom left corner


Height: 37.5 cm, Width: 53.8 cm

Object history note

This is one of five illustrations that Quentin Blake made for the BBC broadcast of "Thanks to Jennings". The book was read in five episodes, broadcast nightly in one week, by Ronnie Corbet. Each of the illustrations was intended to accompany one of these episodes.

Descriptive line

Illustration for the BBC Jackanory edition of Jennings, Quentin Blake, England, 1969




Books; Children & Childhood; Illustration


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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