Peter Carter (author)

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Peter Carter (13 August 1929 – 21 July 1999) was a British writer of children's books, primarily historical novels. He won several awards: the Guardian Prize, two Young Observer Prizes, and the German Preis der Leseratten. His books were shortlisted for many more prizes, and were translated into at least six languages, from Japanese to Portuguese.[1]


Carter was born in Manchester, one of eight children. He left school at 14 and later took evening classes in art and philosophy, before entering Wadham College, Oxford at age 30.[1] There he received the M.A. in English Literature in 1962.[2] He was a school teacher from 1963 to 1976 and then a full-time writer until his death in 1999 from abdominal hæmorrhage, suffered while writing at home in Warwick.[1] Carter's first wife Lois Wilkinson died after one year, during his time at Oxford.[1] He later married Gudrun Willege, a German photographer[2] —or Ulrike Willige[1]— and moved to Hamburg, Germany, in 1976.[2] Later they divorced and remarried; he moved or visited back and forth.[1] He married four times in all (one stepson).[1]

Carter won Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Sentinels, published by Oxford University Press in 1981. The annual book award is judged by a panel of British children's writers and recognises the year's best book by an author who has not yet won it.[3]

For Under Goliath (Oxford, 1977) he was a commended runner-up for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject.[4][a]


All of Carter's books were published by Oxford University Press.[1]

  • The Black Lamp (1973), illustrated by David Harris
  • The Gates of Paradise (1974), illus. Fermin Rocker
  • Madatan (1974), illus. Victor Ambrus
  • Mao (1976), a biography
  • Under Goliath (1977) —commended for the Carnegie Medal[4][a]
  • The Sentinels (1980) —winner of the Guardian Prize[3] and the Premio Europeo di Letteratura Giovanile
  • Children of the Book (1982) —winner of the Young Observer/Rank Organisation Fiction prize[clarification needed] and the Preis der Leseratten
  • Captain Teachum's Buried Treasure (1989), illus. Korky Paul, who made the Greenaway Medal shortlist
  • Bury the Dead (1987) —winner of the Young Observer Teenage Fiction award[5]
  • Leaving Cheyenne (1990); U.S. title, Borderlands
  • The Hunted (1993)
  • Fairy Tales from Grimm retold by Carter (Oxford, 1999)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Today there are usually eight books on the Carnegie Medal shortlist. According to CCSU, there were about 160 commendations of two kinds in 49 years from 1954 to 2002, including Carter and two others for 1977.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Obituary: Peter Carter". Elizabeth Hodgkin. The Independent. 24 August 1999.
  2. ^ a b c "Peter Carter". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 2013-09-30. LC cites Contemporary Authors Online, 2003 (use during 2003 or use of 2003 edition?).
  3. ^ a b "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". theguardian. 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. ^ a b "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  5. ^ "Children's books" (review of Bury the Dead). Sandy Macdonald. The New York Times. 17 January 1988.

External links[edit]

WARNING: WorldCat conflates at least two distinct writers named Peter Carter. See the header far above.