Jane Taylor and her sister Ann Taylor Gilbert (1782-1866) were trained as engravers by their father, Isaac Taylor (1759-1829) when still children. They moved to Colchester in 1796, where their father became the minister of the local Independent congregation. While in Colchester they formed a literary circle known as the Umbelliferous Society, which required that the members produce an original piece of poetry or prose each month. The circle was called umbelliferous to indicate that many buds and blossoms might flourish from the one productive stem. In 1798 Ann published a rhymed answer to a riddle in the Minor’s Pocket Book and, for the next thirteen years, continued to make contributions to the same periodical, including her poem “Crippled Child’s Complaint,” which was prompted by the lameness of her brother Jefferys Taylor (1792–1853), also a writer for children. Following Ann’s lead, in 1804, Jane published her first poem, “The Beggar Boy.” They contributed to Original Poems (1804–5), which achieved immediate success, and was translated into Dutch, French, German, and Russian. Their next work was Rhymes for the Nursery (1806), which included Jane’s classic “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and Ann’s “The Baby Dance.” Other works soon followed, including Limed Twigs to Catch Young Birds (1808), The Associate Minstrels (1810), and The Linnet's Life (1822). These books were often composite productions including poems and engravings by other family members. Jane herself engraved the frontispiece for Hymns for Infant Minds (1810). Following her sister’s marriage, Jane moved with her brother Isaac to his home in Devon, where she composed her first solo work, the children’s novel Display: A Tale for Young People (1815), as well as the satire Essays in Rhyme on Morals and Manners (1816). She maintained her focus on children’s literature and, beginning in 1816, was a regular contributor to Youth’s Magazine. She joined the Independent church at Ongar, where her father was minister, in 1817, and continued to write for the Youth’s Magazine (1816-22), collected in The Contributions of Q.Q. (1824), the year of her death from cancer. See F. V. Barry, “Introduction,” in Jane Taylor: Prose and Poetry (1925) and H. C. Knight, Jane Taylor: Her Life and Letters (1880).