Pauline Clarke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Pauline Clarke (19 May 1921 – 23 July 2013)[1][2] was an English author who has written for younger children under the name Helen Clare, for older children as Pauline Clarke, and more recently for adults under her married name Pauline Hunter Blair. Her best-known work is The Twelve and the Genii, a low fantasy children's novel published by Faber in 1961, for which she won the 1962 Carnegie Medal and the 1968 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.


Anne Pauline Clarke was born in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire in 1921 and later lived in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire.[3] She attended schools in London and Colchester. Until 1943 she studied English at Somerville College, Oxford, then worked as a journalist and wrote for children's magazines. Between 1948 and 1972 she wrote books for children.

She wrote many types of children's book including fantasies, family comedies, historical novels and poetry. Her Five Dolls books (1953–1963) were very popular but she achieved her greatest success with The Twelve and the Genii, published by Faber in 1962. She won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising The Twelve as the year's best children's book by a British subject,[4] and the German Kinderbuchpreis.[5] It was published in the U.S. by Coward-McCann as The Return of the Twelve and so named to the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award list in 1963. These books, like many of her others, were originally illustrated by Cecil Leslie.

Clarke married the historian Peter Hunter Blair in 1969. She edited his history Anglo-Saxon Northumbria (1984) and later wrote for adults as Pauline Hunter Blair. The first published was The Nelson Boy (1999), a painstakingly-researched historical reconstruction of Horatio Nelson's childhood.[6] She followed with a sequel about his early voyages.

She died on 23 July 2013 at the age of 92.[2]


As Helen Clare[edit]

  • Dolls series, illustrated by Cecil Leslie
    • Five Dolls in a House (1953)
    • Five Dolls and the Monkey (1956)
    • Five Dolls in the Snow (1957)
    • Five Dolls and Their Friends (1959)
    • Five Dolls and the Duke (1963)
  • Merlin's Magic (1953)
  • Bel the Giant and Other Stories (1956), illus. Peggy Fortnum; reissued as The Cat and the Fiddle and Other Stories (1968), illus. Ida Pellei
  • Seven White Pebbles (1960), illus. Cynthia Abbott

As Pauline Clarke[edit]

  • The Pekinese Princess (1948)
  • The Great Can (1952)
  • The White Elephant (1952)
  • Smith's Hoard (1955) also published as Hidden Gold (1957) and as The Golden Collar (1967)
  • Sandy the Sailor (1956)
  • The Boy with the Erpingham Hood (1956)
  • James the Policeman (1957)
  • James and the Robbers (1959)
  • Torolv the Fatherless (1959)
  • The Lord of the Castle (1960)
  • The Robin Hooders (1960)
  • Keep the Pot Boiling (1961)
  • James and the Smugglers (1961)
  • Silver Bells and Cockle Shells (1962)
  • The Twelve and the Genii (1962), illus. Cecil Leslie; U.S. title, The Return of the Twelves
  • James and the Black Van (1963)
  • Crowds of Creatures (1964)
  • The Bonfire Party (1966)
  • The Two Faces of Silenus (1972)

As Pauline Hunter Blair[edit]

  • Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, Variorum by Peter Hunter Blair (editor, with Michael Lapidge) (1984)
  • The Nelson Boy: An Imaginative Reconstruction of a Great Man's Childhood (1999)
  • A Thorough Seaman: The Ships' Logs of Horatio Nelson's Early Voyages Imaginatively Explored (2000)
  • Warscape (2002)
  • Jacob's Ladder (2003)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pauline Clarke". Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults. Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 31 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Pauline HUNTER BLAIR Obituary". The Times. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Happy 85th, Pauline Clarke! .[dead link]
  4. ^ (Carnegie Winner 1962). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  5. ^ Article "Pauline Clarke: Über die Autorin von Band 15 der ZEIT-Kinder-Edition" (German language). Zeit Online: Literature. Die Zeit. 2006.
  6. ^ "The Nelson Boy – An Imaginative Reconstruction of A Great Man's Childhood" at the Wayback Machine (archived July 21, 2007). Naval History (reviews by title, Man to Pol). Gazelle Book Services. Archived 21 July 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2013.