Hester Burton

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Hester Burton (6 December 1913 – 17 September 2000) was an English writer, mainly of historical fiction for children and young adults. She received the Carnegie Medal for her 1963 novel Time of Trial.[1] Many of her books, including Time of Trial[2] were illustrated by Victor Ambrus. Her principal publisher was the Oxford University Press.[1]


Burton was born Hester Wood-Hill in Beccles, Suffolk, on 6 December 1913. From 1925 to 1936 she was educated at Headington School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where she received an honours degree in English.[1] In 1937, she married Reginald W.B. Burton, a Classics don at Oriel College.[3]

She worked for the Oxford University Press from 1956 to 1964, contributing two volumes to the Oxford Sheldonian English Series for secondary schoolchildren—Coleridge and the Wordsworths, 1953,[4] and Tennyson, 1954[5]—and working as an assistant editor in the revision of the Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia.[1][3] She also edited two anthologies, A Book of Modern Stories (1959)[6] and Her First Ball (1959).[7]

Burton's historical fiction tended to share the radical and liberal perspective popularised by Geoffrey Trease. Many of her books are set in her home county of Suffolk and many show a particular interest in the sea.[8]

Burton died in Oxford following a stroke at age 86, on 17 September 2000.



  1. ^ a b c d (Carnegie Winner 1963). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  2. ^ Time of Trial at WorldCat.
  3. ^ a b "Hester Burton". The Telegraph. 30 October 2000. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  4. ^ Coleridge and the Wordsworths at WorldCat.
  5. ^ Tennyson at WorldCat.
  6. ^ A Book of Modern Stories at WorldCat.
  7. ^ Her First Ball at WorldCat.
  8. ^ "Hester Burton" at Fantastic Fiction.

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