First published in 1980, two years after The Snowman , Gentleman Jim has been unavailable for many years. We are delighted to bring it back into print as the first book in an occasional series, Cape Graphic Classics . Gentleman Jim is the story of Jim Bloggs, a lavatory attendant who, dissatisfied with his station in life, devotes his time to envisioning a world beyond it. His walls are lined with books like Out in the Silver West , the Boys' Book of Pirates and Executive Opportunities , which provide fodder for his ruminations on career change. Encouraged by his wife Hilda, also eager to incorporate more adventure into her life, Jim sets out to bring these dreams to fruition by accumulating various accoutrements, only to discover that the life of an executive, an artist or a cowboy is more complicated and costly than it appears.
Raymond Briggs was born in Wimbledon Park, South London in 1934. Developing an early interest in illustration, he attended the Wimbledon School of Art at the age of fifteen. After completing a typography course at the Central School of Art, he went on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. A passionate proponent of the art of the strip cartoon, Briggs has created many of his best-known books in this format. His is a formidable canon of work, beginning in the late 1950s. Several of his books have been made into highly acclaimed animated films. In addition to the Kate Greenaway Medal (for the Mother Goose Treasury and Father Christmas), Briggs has also received the Kurt Maschler Award and the Children's Book of the Year Award (for The Man), the British Book Award's Best Illustrated Book of the Year (for Ethel and Ernest) and the Smarties Silver Prize (for Ug). He lives in Sussex.