Jill Paton Walsh

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Jill Paton Walsh, CBE, FRSL (born 29 April 1937) is an English novelist and children's writer. She may be known best for Peter WimseyHarriet Vane mysteries that have completed or continued the work of Dorothy Sayers.

Biography[edit]

Born as Gillian Bliss and educated at St. Michael's Convent,[1] North Finchley, London, she read English Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford. She lives in Cambridge.

In 1961, she married Antony Paton Walsh, now deceased; they had one son and two daughters. In 2004, she married John Rowe Townsend. Her brother is Christopher John Emile Bliss, PhD, FBA. He was Nuffield Professor of International Economics at Oxford University from 1992–2007 and a Fellow of Nuffield College from 1977–2007.

Honours[edit]

In 1996, Jill Paton Walsh received the CBE for services to literature and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

In 1998 she won the Phoenix Award from the Children's Literature Association, recognising A Chance Child as the best children's book published twenty years earlier that did not win a major award.[2]

On writing for children[edit]

In an essay on realism in children's literature, Walsh stated that realism (like fantasy) is also metaphorical, and that she would like the relationship between the reader and her characters Bill and Judie to be as metaphorical as that between "dragons and the reader's greed or courage".[3]

Works[edit]

Knowledge of Angels (1993), a medieval philosophical novel, shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize Other adult novels include:

  • Lapsing, about Catholic university students
  • A School for Lovers, reworking of the plot of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
  • The Serpentine Cave (1997), based on a lifeboat disaster in St Ives
  • A Desert in Bohemia (2000), which follows a group of characters in England and in an imaginary Eastern European country through the years between World War II and 1989

Imogen Quy[edit]

Paton Walsh wrote four detective stories featuring part-time college nurse Imogen Quy, set in fictional St. Agatha's College, University of Cambridge:

  • The Wyndham Case (1993)
  • A Piece of Justice (1995)
  • Debts of Dishonour (2006)
  • The Bad Quarto (2007)

Lord Peter Wimsey[edit]

In 1998, she won acclaim for her completion of Dorothy L. Sayers' unfinished Lord Peter WimseyHarriet Vane novel, Thrones, Dominations. In 2002, she followed this up with another Lord Peter novel, A Presumption of Death. In 2010, she published a third, The Attenbury Emeralds.[4] Her latest addition to the series, The Late Scholar, was published 5 December 2013 in the UK, and 14 January 2014 in North America.[5]

Children's books[edit]

  • Hengest's Tale (St Martin's Press, 1966), fiction, illustrated by Janet Margrie[6]
  • The Dolphin Crossing (1967) adapted for the stage by Ed Viney, (2012)
  • Word Hoard: Anglo-Saxon stories (1969?), by Paton Walsh and Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • Fireweed (1969)
  • Farewell, Great King (1969?)
  • Goldengrove (1972)
  • Toolmaker (1973), picture book illus. Jeroo Roy
  • The Emperor's Winding SheetWhitbread Prize for children's books, 1974
  • The Butty Boy (1975), illus. Juliette Palmer
  • The Huffler (1975), illus. Palmer
  • The Island Sunrise: prehistoric Britain (1975); US subtitle, —nonfiction
  • Unleaving (1976), sequel to GoldengroveBoston Globe–Horn Book Award for fiction, 1976
  • Crossing to Salamis (1977), picture book illus. David Smee
  • The Walls of Athens (1977), picture book illus. Smee
  • A Chance Child (1978)
  • Children of the Fox (1978), illus. Robin Eaton
  • The Green Book (1981), illus. Lloyd Bloom
  • Babylon (1982)
  • A Parcel of Patterns (1983)
  • Gaffer Samson's Luck (1984) —Smarties Prize, 1985
  • Birdy and the Ghosties (1989)
  • Grace (1991)
  • When Grandma Came (1992), picture book illus. by Sophy Williams
  • Thomas and the Tinners (1995)

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ... As seen by Jill Paton Walsh
  2. ^ "Phoenix Award Brochure 2012". Children's Literature Association. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
    See also the current homepage, "Phoenix Award".
  3. ^ Walsh, Jill Paton; Betsy Hearne, Marilyn Kaye (eds.) (1981). Celebrating Children's Books: Essays on Children's Literature in Honor of Zena Sutherland. New York: Lathrop, Lee, and Shepard Books. p. 37. ISBN 0-688-00752-X. 
  4. ^ The Attenbury Emeralds. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2010. ISBN 978-0-340-99572-3.
  5. ^ The Late Scholar. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2014. Paperback, 368 pages. ISBN 1444751905, ISBN 978-1444751901.
  6. ^ Hengest's tale. Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 26 August 2013.

External links[edit]