From an early age, Madeleine started painting birthday and Christmas cards for her close family and friends. First drawing rabbits tailor made to each person whether it was pin stripe shorts for her brother or ballet dresses for her Granny. Each one would be undertaking an action that was pertinent to their particular lives with some amusing captions. She then decided to paint and draw these pictures in a book which could be kept rather than on bits of paper. Eventually this progressed with the captions becoming longer pieces, until she would write a story for her family which was read on special occasions such as on Christmas day after lunch.
Birth of Burlington
Over the years she created many different illustrations and sketches based on the collection of toys that she had had as a child. This was the case with Burlington, he was in a shop window in Burlington Arcade just before Christmas. Madeleine thought he was the loveliest bear and so he was added to the collection. Marmaduke was also seen sitting on a little chair in a shop whilst Madeleine was on holiday in Cornwall – the perfect companion for Burlington.
One day during the long summer holidays she was told to tidy her room to make way for all the paraphernalia that young girls seem to collect.
She packed her well loved childrens books, after having re-read them once more.Then she eventually came to her dearly loved cuddly animals who were hugged one last time before being gently laid in a box. Somehow she just could not bear the thought of them shut away unloved and forgotten in the dark, cold attic. Madeleine does not know how it happened but they just seemed to find their way back and there they have stayed ever since being the inspiration for her stories. Although Madeleine now lives in London, they are there when she visits her parents’ house, except Burlington, true to form, has slipped back to London with her.
The Bear Business
Madeleine soon decided she would like her stories to be published. After meeting the entrepreneur Jim Banting, a successful publisher who provided a wealth of advice, Madeleine and her father, Christopher, set up Burlington Bear Publishing Limited.
Working closely with Jim and his team the company is already publishing a series of books. The first e-books are now available and there are plans to add audio books and a range of merchandise.
The Bear Necessities
Madeleine was born in Buckinghamshire. She was educated at Pipers Corner School and went on to gain a degree in Drama at the University of Wales. Her First job was at Buckingham Palace where she was secretary to The Queen’s Equerry. She remained at the Palace for three years. For the last six years she has been working at Sotheby’s, the auction house, in the Old Master Paintings department.
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Christine Arckless is the series editor for Burlington Bear Publishing Limited. She spent her entire working life as a teacher completing her career as the Head of the Junior School at Pipers Corner School in Buckinghamshire. She was Madeleine’s first English teacher who encouraged and supported Madeleine’s early love of writing. Christine is now retired from full time education but remains an active voice in the learning and development of young people.
Her special interests include English, History and Travel. She is an active member and past President of the High Wycombe Lions.