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Jasper Fforde

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Jasper Fforde
Fforde at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Fforde at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Born (1961-01-11) 11 January 1961 (age 63)
London, England
GenreAlternative history, comic fantasy
Literary movementPostmodern literature

Jasper Fforde (born 11 January 1961)[1] is an English novelist whose first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. He is known mainly for his Thursday Next novels, but has also published two books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series, two in the Shades of Grey series and four in The Last Dragonslayer series. Fforde's books abound in literary allusions and wordplay, tightly scripted plots and playfulness with the conventional, traditional genres. They usually contain elements of metafiction, parody, and fantasy.

Early life[edit]

Fforde was born in London on 11 January 1961, the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England.[2] He is a grandson of the Polish political activist, Joseph Retinger, and a great-grandson of the journalist E. D. Morel.[3]

Fforde was educated at Dartington Hall School. In his first jobs, he worked as a focus puller in the film industry. He worked on a number of films, including The Trial, Quills, GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, and Entrapment.[4]


Fforde's published books include a series of novels starring the literary detective Thursday Next: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing and The Woman Who Died a Lot. The Eyre Affair had received 76 publisher rejections before its eventual acceptance for publication.[5]

Fforde won the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction in 2004 for The Well of Lost Plots.[6] Several streets in the Thames Reach housing development in Swindon have been named after characters in the series.[7]

The Big Over Easy (2005), set in the same alternative universe as the Next novels, reworks his first written novel, which initially failed to find a publisher. Its original title was Who Killed Humpty Dumpty?[8] It was later entitled Nursery Crime, which now refers to the series of books. These describe the investigations of DCI Jack Spratt. The follow-up to The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear, was published in July 2006 and focuses on Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Shades of Grey, the first novel in a new series, was published December 2009 in the United States and January 2010 in the United Kingdom. The sequel Red Side Story was published in February 2024 in the United Kingdom and May the same year in the United States. [9]

In November 2010 Fforde produced The Last Dragonslayer, the first novel in a new series. It is a young-adult fantasy novel about a teenage orphan Jennifer Strange[10] which has been adapted for television.[11] Two more books have been published in the series, The Song of the Quarkbeast (2011) and The Eye of Zoltar (2014). The series was originally planned as a trilogy,[12] but a fourth book in the series was announced in 2014, The Great Troll War (2021).[13]

Short stories[edit]

In 2009, Fforde published a story in the Welsh edition of Big Issue magazine called "We are all alike" (previously "The Man with no Face").[14]

He also published "The Locked Room Mystery mystery" [sic] in The Guardian newspaper in 2007; this story remains available online.[15] The U.S. version of Well of Lost Plots features a bonus chapter (34b) called "Heavy Weather", a complete story in itself, featuring Thursday Next in her position as Bellman.

Fforde Ffiesta[edit]

Originating with the Fforde Ffestival in September 2005,[16] the Fforde Ffiesta (cf. Ford Fiesta) is an bi-annual event built around Fforde's books and held in Thursday Next's home town of Swindon over the May bank holiday weekend.[17] People travel from afar to take part in a wide range of events, including a reenactment of the gameshow Name That Fruit, Hamlet Speed Reading competitions, and interactive performances of Richard III.



  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020". United Press International. 11 January 2020. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020. …author Jasper Fforde in 1961 (age 59)
  2. ^ Corbett, Sue (11 October 2012). "Q & A with Jasper Fforde". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Ten Things You Never Knew About Jasper". Jasper Fforde official website. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  4. ^ Jasper Fforde at IMDb
  5. ^ John Sutherland (26 July 2003). "If it's Thursday it must be the valley of death". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  6. ^ John Ezard (31 May 2004). "Lost Plots gains a prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  7. ^ Thames Reach Housing Development or the Nextian Neighbourhood, JasperFforde.com, retrieved 1 December 2017
  8. ^ Peter Guttridge (19 June 2005). "Back off or Humpty Dumpty gets it". The Observer. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  9. ^ Fforde, Jasper (23 January 2024). "Red Side Story Index page". jasperfforde.com. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  10. ^ "The Last Dragonslayer". Jasper Fforde.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  11. ^ "The Last Dragonslayer (2016 TV Movie)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Dragonslayer page". Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Next Book". Jasper FForde. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  14. ^ Jasper Fforde's website. "The Big Issue with short Story by Jasper Fforde". Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  15. ^ Fforde, Jasper (24 December 2007). "The Locked Room Mystery mystery". the Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  16. ^ "A Brief History of the Fforde Ffiesta". Fforde Fiesta. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Swindon is centre-stage once again in author's new book". BBC - Wiltshire. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  18. ^ Fforde, Jasper (9 March 2021). The Great Troll War. ISBN 9781444799958. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  19. ^ Early Riser. 25 April 2019. ISBN 9781444763706.
  20. ^ The Constant Rabbit. 2 January 2020. ISBN 9781444763713.

External links[edit]