Art Creative 07

Elise Piquet

September 28, 1929 ~ March 16, 2022 (age 92)


The adventurous life of Elise Piquet ended on March 16, 2022, in her home of 55 years. A descendent of the fifty survivors of the Mayflower, she was born in
Philadelphia on Sept. 28, 1929, went to Quaker schools, and graduated the Philadelphia
University of the Arts, majoring in painting, and illustration. Her first husband died when
he was 28, and Elise began her life at 24 in New York City, with $400 in a savings and a
portfolio full of drawings and hope. In her first job, she created the art program at
Columbia Grammar School, and illustrated children’s books on the weekends for Oxford
University Press, and Doubleday. At 31, she became art director of a
special children's reading program at Macmillan Publishing, and married a British
novelist, Julian Gloag. They lived in Greenwich Village, but twice visited England,
which began her life-long love affair with Great Britain, which outlasted the five year
marriage. Elise started her research on Virginia Woolf' holographs in the NY Public
Library. When she wrote to Woolf' nephew in England for permission to Xerox them,
Quentin Bell invited her to lunch to discuss it. ("So I flew over, met Quentin and his
wife, who were organizing Virgina's diaries at the time, had a delicious lunch, and moved
to England.") It was 1970, when people could live in America, or England, for very little
money. With the rent from her house in Chester, CT, plus free lance writing, Elise found
a beautiful, decrepit flat overlooking the English Channel in Brighton. She learned that
one keeps the doors shut in every room to keep in the heat from the electric heaters.
Rent: $25 a week. Her 1956 Morris Minor ($100) drove her to interviews, publishers,
and new friends, plus trips all over England. She took her articles about Virginia, plus her
life in England, and what she called "True Life Elise stories" to the London Evening
News and talked herself into a weekly by-line. In 1972, while visiting friends in Spain,
she met her great love, Christopher Doll. An independent director of documentaries, he
was checking up on his house in Mallorca. Three days later he offered to fly her back to
England in his Cessna. ("He put his hand on my left thigh as we flew over the Pyrenees
and said, 'Happy?", and I knew that I would go anywhere in the world with him.") So
began their passionate affair, but his wife was stubborn, and in 1976 Elise returned to
New York and started her Reader's Digest career. ("The Digest was a fine magazine at
that time, held in great respect, so no matter where I went for my story, I was given carte
blanch. I just loved doing research. I became their medical ingenue.") She flew all over
America, and began to understand, as well as love, her own country. Then the British
Reader's Digest asked her to write for them, so she wrote medical pieces all over England
and Wales. In 1980 she married David Joslow and helped him develop his home into the
Inn at Chester, but life as an innkeeper’s wife gave her no privacy. She went back to
England and her writing, and in 1990, she and Christopher were married. They divided
their time between a seafront apartment in Brighton, England, and Chester, CT and were
sublimely happy. When Christopher died in 2004, she sold the English flat but returned
each year to visit her three granddaughters and her many friends. (I'm addicted to all
things British," she said, and sure enough, in 2010 fell in love with Frank Jones, an
English/Welshman living in Chester to be near his daughter.) They lived happily together
until his death. Please do not send flowers in her memory, instead, please do a kind deed for a stranger in her memory. Memorial donations may be sent to Forgotten Felines Inc, P.O. Box 734, Clinton, CT 06413 or at, I.M.O. Elise Piquet. To sign her online guest book please visit, Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home in Colchester has been entrusted with Elise’s arrangements. 


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