HALE, Kathleen

1898 - 2000

Kathleen Hale

Kathleen Hale was born at Broughton, Biggar, Peebleshire, Scotland on 24 May 1898, daughter of Charles Edward Hale (1859-30 December 1903), a musical instrument merchant, and his wife Ethel Alice Aylmer née Hughes (1868-15 July 1965), who married at Halifax, Yorkshire in 1891. In 1901, Kathleen was living at 93 Clyde Road, Withington, Chorlton, Lancashire with her parents, Charles 42 and Ethel 32, and two siblings Dorothy Aylmer 7 and Ernest Edward 4, both born at Didsbury and they retained three indoor servants. Her father died at Stockport, Cheshire on 30 December 1903 and by 1911, her widowed mother Ethel, had moved to 8 Clothorn Road, Didsbury with her two daughters with young Ernest boarding at King Edward VI grammar school at Retford. Kathleen was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and studied at Manchester School of Art and at Reading University 1915-1917, where she was taught by Allen William Seaby (1867-1953). In 1917 she went to London, with an ambition to be an artist, where she made numerous friends including Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) and his circle, becoming secretary to Augustus John (1878-1961). Kathleen married at Holborn, London in 1926, Douglas McClean, a research doctor, and they had two sons Simon (born 1930) and Andrew (born 1933) and during the 1920s she earned a living as an illustrator, accepting commissions for book jackets, posters, and illustrations for children's books, as well as selling her own drawings, also attending the Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1922 she had met Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines in Paris and in 1938 accompanied them on their move from The Pound in Higham to Benton End in Hadleigh, Suffolk. At that time, she was painting and learning lithography at Cowells, the Ipswich printers and both Cedric and Lett illustrated her 'Orlando' books which she was creating at Benton End, the first of 16 Orlando books was 'A Camping Holiday' in 1938. Kathleen and her husband settled at Tod House, Forest Hill, Oxfordshire where her husband died on 10 July 1967. As the creator of Orlando, Kathleen McClean was awarded an OBE in 1976 and died at Bristol on 26 January 2000, aged 101. (A Slender Reputation: An Autobiography 1998).

Works by This Artist