Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books, and is best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
, the classic adventure set in her own version of the nineteenth century, a time when Dukes travelled by railway, and ravening wolves roamed the land... This was followed by a linked series of fantasy adventures known as The Wolves Chronicles
. While many of the books are set in a murky and dangerous London full of hackney-cabs and duchesses, the travels of Dido, the spirited cockney heroine of many of the books, take her all around the world on a series of adventures at sea and in fantastic foreign kingdoms. While the books form a series, they can also be enjoyed as separate stories.
Joan Aiken was also well known for working with Quentin Blake
to create the Arabel and Mortimer
stories, about a little girl and her hilarious pet raven which were originally shown on CBBC TV.
You can find out all about Joan Aiken and her many different books - from ghost stories to funny modern fairy tales, thrilling dramas set on the high seas, or bedtime stories like A Necklace of Raindrops
to read to your baby brother or sister - on her website at http://www.joanaiken.com Joan Aiken Facts
Joan Aiken was awarded the MBE for her services to Children's Literature
Joan started writing at the age of five, and saved all her stories - they are hilarious!
Joan Aiken was taught at home by her mother until she was twelve, and said that her best friends were books. When she went to boarding school she said she was so terrified of all the other children that she stopped growing! She put her height on her passport as four foot eleven and three quarter inches!
She said a good way she had discovered to get ideas was to eat cheese for supper in the hope of having exciting nightmares she could turn into stories... Joan Aiken Characters
Dido Twite - feisty cockney heroine of The Wolves Chronicles
Mortimer the Raven - wildly naughty raven who does whatever he likes...! from Arabel's Raven
Miss Slighcarp - wicked governess from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aiken Quotes
"It was dusk, winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees." (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
"'There's a great awful bird
in the fridge!' sobbed Mrs Jones.'And it's eaten all the cheese and a blackcurrant tart and five pints of milk and a bowl of dripping and a pound of sausages...'
Arabel looked at the raven and he looked back at her.
' His name's Mortimer,' she said." (Arabel's Raven
‘Cor, love a lily-white duck!’ gasped Dido, as a murky bank of the smoke surged towards her and almost smothered her. ‘I never in all my born days smelt such a smell, never! It’s enough to make a bad egg burst out crying and go home to mother. (Night Birds On Nantucket