Jill Barklem

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Jill Barklem (born Gillian Gaze; 23 May 1951 – 15 November 2017) was a British writer and illustrator of children's books. Her most famous work is the Brambly Hedge series, published from 1980.

Early life[edit]

Jill Barklem was born as Gillian Gaze in Epping on 23 May 1951.[1] Educated at Loughton High School, after an accident when she was thirteen resulting in a detached retina, she was unable to take part in PE or games at school and instead developed her talent for drawing and art. On leaving school, she studied illustration at St Martin's in London.[1]


After graduating she became an illustrator for children's bibles. Her husband suggested that she turn her ideas conceived while commuting on the train journey to art school for a story about hedgrow life into a book.[1] Barklem became a full-time illustrator, working on the expanding series of books about the mice of Brambly Hedge. She spent five years on research before she started to write her first stories about them.[2]

Her interest in natural history and her curiosity about traditional rural customs and crafts have spilled over into these chronicles of hedgerow life.[citation needed]

Family life[edit]

Barklem married David Barklem in 1977; they had two children. Jill Barklem died, in London [1] aged 66, on 15 November 2017, following a long undisclosed illness.[3]


Brambly Hedge series[edit]

Other editions and titles[edit]

  • Four Seasons of Brambly Hedge (1986) contains the 4 seasonal titles and a 20-page "conversation" with the author about the origins and developments of the stories.
  • Tales from Brambly Hedge (1997) contains the other 4 original titles: Staircase, Sea, Hills and Babies.
  • Adventures of the Mice of Brambly Hedge (1998) is a joint publication version of Autumn Story and Sea Story.
  • The Mice of Brambly Hedge Celebrate (1998) is a joint publication version of Winter Story and Secret Staircase.
  • Outings for the Mice of Brambly Hedge (1999) is a joint publication version of Spring Story and The High Hills.
  • Baby Mice in Brambly Hedge (1999) is a joint publication version of Summer Story and Poppie's Babies.
  • A Visit to Brambly Hedge (2000) is a 20th-anniversary special background information book.
  • Wilfred to the Rescue (2005)
  • A Year In Brambly Hedge (2010)


There are also several activity and "Toy and Moveable" books, such as Primrose's Adventure (Brambly Hedge Sliding Pictures) and Wilfred's Birthday Sliding Pictures; some board books, such as House for a Mouse, Nice for Mice, and The Snow Ball; and (probably) Poppy and Dusty's Wedding.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituaries - Jill Barklem". The Daily Telegraph. 21 November 2017. p. 31.
  2. ^ "Jill Barklem". HarperCollins Australia. Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  3. ^ Wallwork, Ellen. "'Brambly Hedge' Creator Jill Barklem Dies Aged 66". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 November 2017.

External links[edit]