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Jill Paton Walsh

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Name  Jill Walsh
Role  Novelist

Jill Paton Walsh wwwjennifervidocoma6a0147e067269e970b0147e19d
Awards  Nestle Smarties Book Prize, Phoenix Award
Nominations  Man Booker Prize, Carnegie Medal
Books  The Late Scholar, Knowledge of Angels, The Attenbury Emeralds, Thrones - Dominations, A Presumption of Death
Similar People  Dorothy L Sayers, Kevin Crossley‑Holland, Alvaro del Amo

Education  St Anne's College, Oxford

Jill paton walsh talks about the attenbury emeralds audiogo

Jill Paton Walsh, CBE, FRSL (born 29 April 1937) is an English novelist and children's writer. She may be known best for the Peter Wimsey–Harriet Vane mysteries that have completed or continued the work of Dorothy Sayers.


Jill Paton Walsh wwwgreenbaycoukgraphicsself1jpg

The attenbury emeralds jill paton walsh

Personal life

Born Gillian Bliss, she was educated at St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley, London, and she read English Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford. She lives in Cambridge. In 1961, she married Antony Paton Walsh (died 30 December 2003); the couple had one son and two daughters. In 2004, she married John Rowe Townsend, who died in 2014.

Her brother, Christopher, was Nuffield Professor of International Economics at Oxford University (1992–2007) and a Fellow of Nuffield College (1977–2007).


In 1996, Paton Walsh received the CBE for services to literature and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1998 she won the Phoenix Award from the Children's Literature Association, recognising A Chance Child as the best children's book published twenty years earlier that did not win a major award.

On writing for children

In an essay on realism in children's literature, Walsh stated that realism (like fantasy) is also metaphorical, and that she would like the relationship between the reader and her characters Bill and Julie to be as metaphorical as that between "dragons and the reader's greed or courage".


Knowledge of Angels (1993), a medieval philosophical novel, shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize Other adult novels include:

  • Farewell, Great King (1972)
  • Lapsing, about Catholic university students
  • A School for Lovers, reworking of the plot of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
  • The Serpentine Cave (1997), based on a lifeboat disaster in St Ives
  • A Desert in Bohemia (2000), which follows a group of characters in England and in an imaginary Eastern European country through the years between World War II and 1989
  • Imogen Quy

    Paton Walsh wrote four detective stories featuring part-time college nurse Imogen Quy, set in fictional St. Agatha's College, University of Cambridge:

  • The Wyndham Case (1993)
  • A Piece of Justice (1995)
  • Debts of Dishonour (2006)
  • The Bad Quarto (2007)
  • Lord Peter Wimsey

    In 1998, she won acclaim for her completion of Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey–Harriet Vane novel, Thrones, Dominations. In 2002, she followed this up with another Lord Peter novel, A Presumption of Death. In 2010, she published a third, The Attenbury Emeralds. Her latest addition to the series, The Late Scholar, was published 5 December 2013 in the UK, and 14 January 2014 in North America.

    Children's books

  • Hengest's Tale (St Martin's Press, 1966), fiction, illustrated by Janet Margrie
  • The Dolphin Crossing (1967), adapted for the stage by Ed Viney (2012)
  • Word Hoard: Anglo-Saxon stories (1969?), by Paton Walsh and Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • Fireweed (1969)
  • Goldengrove (1972)
  • Toolmaker (1973), picture book illus. Jeroo Roy
  • The Emperor's Winding Sheet —Whitbread Prize for children's books, 1974
  • The Butty Boy (1975), illus. Juliette Palmer
  • The Huffler (1975), illus. Palmer
  • The Island Sunrise: prehistoric Britain (1975); US subtitle, —nonfiction
  • Unleaving (1976), sequel to Goldengrove —Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for fiction, 1976
  • Crossing to Salamis (1977), picture book illus. David Smee
  • The Walls of Athens (1977), picture book illus. Smee
  • A Chance Child (1978)
  • Children of the Fox (1978), illus. Robin Eaton
  • The Green Book (1981), illus. Lloyd Bloom
  • Babylon (1982)
  • A Parcel of Patterns (1983)
  • Gaffer Samson's Luck (1984) —Smarties Prize, 1985
  • Birdy and the Ghosties (1989)
  • Grace (1991)
  • When Grandma Came (1992), picture book illus. by Sophy Williams
  • Thomas and the Tinners (1995)
  • References

    Jill Paton Walsh Wikipedia