New light cast on Jonah Jones’s emergence as an artist

A large cache of letters written by Jonah Jones during the years of the Second World War to his friend and mentor Mona Lovell has thrown new light on his emergence as an artist.

Mona was the librarian at Felling public library on Tyneside, where Jonah got his first job after leaving school in 1936. She advised him in his reading and introduced him to her circle of Quaker friends, thus playing a vital part in his intellectual development. The two became close friends, and remained in regular touch after Jonah left the area.

David Lovell, Mona’s nephew, contacted Peter Jones, Jonah’s biographer, to inform him of the letters which he had inherited from his father. The letters reveal that Jonah came very close to giving up the idea of becoming an artist in 1941, and illuminate his experiences as a conscientious objector working in forestry, then as a medic in the 6th Airborne Division. Peter is now examining the cache and will write up a summary for later publication.