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Penelope Farmer

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Name  Penelope Farmer

Role  Writer
Penelope Farmer httpsrjdentfileswordpresscom201410c0bc098

Books  Charlotte Sometimes, A Castle of Bone, Twin Trouble, Saturday by Seven, Granny and Me

Penelope Jane Farmer (born 1939) is an English fiction writer best known for children's fantasy novels.


Penelope Farmer httpsvulpeslibrisfileswordpresscom201504p


Farmer was born as a fraternal twin in Westerham, Kent, on 14 June 1939. She was the third child of Hugh Robert MacDonald (died 26 May 2004) and Penelope Boothby Farmer. Her parents and the medical staff at the hospital were not aware of her presence until some 25 minutes after the birth of her twin sister Judith. Throughout Farmer's life, being a twin has been a defining element of her understanding of her identity. The twins have an older brother, Tim, and a younger sister, Sally.

After attending a boarding school, she read history at St Anne's College, Oxford and did postgraduate work at Bedford College, University of London.

Farmer was known in 2012 to be living on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. She there described herself as "a writer – published for many years, now struggling", and listed "her grandchildren" among those she loved and missed. Other relations were mentioned: the departure of her daughter and a granddaughter (23 April 2004). The 22 April 2010 entry states that her son was among those staying with her, with his daughters aged eight and twelve.

Writing career

Farmer's first publication was The China People, a collection of literary fairy tales for young people, in 1960. One story written for this collection was judged too long to include. This was re-written as the first chapter of her first novel for children, The Summer Birds. In 1963, this received a Carnegie Medal commendation and was cited as an American Library Association Notable Book. The Summer Birds was soon followed by its sequels, Emma in Winter (1966) and Charlotte Sometimes (1969), and by A Castle of Bone (1972), Year King (1977), Thicker than Water (1989), Penelope: A Novel (1993), and Granny and Me (1998).

Farmer stated that she, while writing Emma in Winter, did not realize that identity was such a predominant theme in the novel until she encountered Margery Fisher's comments on the book. She had a similar realization, this time on her own, while writing Charlotte Sometimes.


Penelope Farmer Wikipedia