Joan Aiken

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Joan Aiken

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in Rye, East Sussex, The United Kingdom
September 04, 1924

January 04, 2004




Enormously well read since childhood, Joan loved Nineteenth century fi ...more

About this author

Joan Delano Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE,has been celebrating its 50th Anniversary with the publication of three brand new editions of the book and a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.



For Joan's life and full Bibliography visit

Joan's Life in brief:
She was born in Rye, East Sussex, into a family of writers, including her father, Conrad Aiken (who won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry), and her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge.
She worked for the United Nations In

Joan Aiken isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but she does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from her feed.
Aiken fans will be delighted to discover a new collection of her stories "The Monkey's Wedding" due out on April 19th.

These stories, some never published before, show Aiken at the beginning of her career, and display her astonishing gift for fantasy and the insanely inventive plots which became her trademark in later years. A singing mermaid in a bottle,... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on April 12, 2011 10:21 • 449 views
Average rating: 3.94 · 31,958 ratings · 2,613 reviews · 214 distinct works · Similar authors
The Wolves of Willoughby Ch...
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 11,188 ratings — published 1962 — 42 editions
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Black Hearts in Battersea (...
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 2,733 ratings — published 1964 — 29 editions
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Nightbirds on Nantucket (Th...
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 1,553 ratings — published 1966 — 23 editions
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Jane Fairfax
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 1,164 ratings — published 1990 — 11 editions
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Arabel's Raven (Arabel and ...
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 847 ratings — published 1972 — 14 editions
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Midnight Is a Place
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 715 ratings — published 1974 — 21 editions
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The Cuckoo Tree (The Wolves...
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 665 ratings — published 1971 — 19 editions
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The Whispering Mountain (Th...
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 584 ratings — published 1968 — 12 editions
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A Necklace of Raindrops and...
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 641 ratings — published 1968 — 21 editions
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Dido and Pa (The Wolves Chr...
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 502 ratings — published 1986 — 14 editions
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More books by Joan Aiken…
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Black Hearts in Battersea Nightbirds on Nantucket The Stolen Lake Dangerous Games The Cuckoo Tree Dido and Pa
The Wolves Chronicles (11 books)
4.049694993689525 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 19,016 ratings

Arabel's Raven Arabel, Mortimer, and the E... Mortimer's Bread Bin The Spiral Stair The Mystery of Mr. Jones's ...
Arabel and Mortimer (8 books)
4.162239770279971 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 1,393 ratings

Go Saddle the Sea Bridle the Wind The Teeth of the Gale
Felix Brooke (3 books)
3.9814502529510962 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 593 ratings

“She thought about Penny’s stories. There was one about a man who had three wishes and married a swan. If I had three wishes, I know what I’d wish for, thought Is. I’d wish for those two boys to be found, and for us all to be back on Blackheath Edge. She thought about Penny teaching her to read. “What’s the point of reading?” Is had grumbled at first. “You can allus tell me stories, that’s better than reading.” “I’ll not always be here,” Penny had said shortly. “Besides, once you can read, you can learn somebody else. Folk should teach each other what they know.” “Why?” “If you don’t learn anything, you don’t grow. And someone’s gotta learn you.”

Well, thought Is, if I get outta here, I’ll be able to learn some other person the best way to get free from a rolled-up rug.”
Joan Aiken, Is Underground

“He paused a moment, gazing in awe at the huge mass of buildings composing the castle. It stood close to the river, on either side and to the rear stretched the extensive park and gardens, filled with splendid trees, fountains and beds of brilliant flowers in shades of pink, crimson, and scarlet. The castle itself was built of pink granite, and enclosed completely a smaller, older building which the present Duke's father had considered too insignificant for his town residence. The new castle had taken forty years to build; three architects and hundreds of men had worked day and night, and the old Duke had personally selected every block of sunset-colored stone that went to its construction. 'I want it to look like a great half-open rose,' he declared to the architects, who were fired with enthusiasm by this romantic fancy. It was begun as a wedding present to the Duke's wife, whose name was Rosamond, but unfortunately she died some nine years before it was completed. 'never mind, it will do for her memorial instead,' said the grief-stricken but practical widower. The work went on. At last the final block was laid in place. The Duke, by now very old, went out in his barouche and drove slowly along the opposite riverbank to consider the effect. He paused midway for a long time, then gave his opinion. 'It looks like a cod cutlet covered in shrimp sauce,' he said, drove home, took to his bed, and died.”
Joan Aiken, Black Hearts in Battersea

“When the Whispering Mountain shall scream aloud
And the castle of Malyn ride on a cloud,
Then Malyn's lord shall have and hold
The lost that is found, the harp of gold.
Then Fig-hat Ben shall wear a shroud,
Then shall the despoiler, that was so proud,
Plunge headlong down from Devil's Leap;
Then shall the Children from darkness creep,
And the men of the glen avoid disaster,
And the Harp of Teirtu find her master.”
Joan Aiken, The Whispering Mountain