Joan Aiken

About Joan Aiken

Who is it?: Writer
Birth Day: September 04, 1924
Birth Place: Rye, East Sussex, England, United States
Occupation: Writer
Period: 1955–2004
Genre: Alternative history, children's literature, supernatural fiction
Notable works: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles)
Notable awards: Guardian Prize 1969

Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken was born on September 04, 1924 in Rye, East Sussex, England, United States, is Writer. Joan Aiken was one of the most loved and noted English writers who specialized in writing supernatural thrillers and charmingly quirky children’s novels. She was bestowed with the prestigious title of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire MBE, for her contributions in the field of children’s literature. Additionally, she was also conferred with Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and Edgar Allan Poe Award. Born to British writer Conrad Aiken, since young Joan developed a knack for story-telling which only bettered with time. Having completed her formal education, she turned to writing children’s novels and fiction stories at a young age. In her lifetime, she wrote on various genres including magic, fantasy, adventure and thriller. In total, she came up with almost 92 novels including 27 novels for adults, as well as plays, short stories and poems. Her most famous classic, ‘The Wolves of the Willoughby Chase’ went on to become the magnum opus of her career. Following the super success of the novel, she penned a series under it.
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Does Joan Aiken Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Joan Aiken has been died on 4 January 2004 (2004-01-05) (aged 79)\nPetworth, Sussex.

🎂 Joan Aiken - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Joan Aiken die, Joan Aiken was 79 years old.

Popular As Joan Aiken
Occupation Writers
Age 79 years old
Zodiac Sign Libra
Born September 04, 1924 (Rye, East Sussex, England, United States)
Birthday September 04
Town/City Rye, East Sussex, England, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Joan Aiken’s zodiac sign is Libra. According to astrologers, People born under the sign of Libra are peaceful, fair, and they hate being alone. Partnership is very important for them, as their mirror and someone giving them the ability to be the mirror themselves. These individuals are fascinated by balance and symmetry, they are in a constant chase for justice and equality, realizing through life that the only thing that should be truly important to themselves in their own inner core of personality. This is someone ready to do nearly anything to avoid conflict, keeping the peace whenever possible

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Joan Aiken was born in the Year of the Rat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.

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Aiken was born in Mermaid Street in Rye, Sussex, on 4 September 1924. Her father was the American Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Conrad Aiken (1889–1973). Her older brother was the Writer and research Chemist John Aiken (1913–1990), and her older sister was the Writer Jane Aiken Hodge (1917–2009). Their mother, Canadian-born Jessie MacDonald (1889–1970), was a Master's graduate from Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jessie and Conrad's marriage was dissolved in 1929, and Jessie married the English Writer Martin Armstrong in 1930. Conrad Aiken went on to marry twice more. Together with her brother John and her sister Jane, Joan Aiken wrote Conrad Aiken Remembered (1989), a short appreciation of their father.


Aiken was taught at home by her mother until the age of twelve and from 1936 to 1940 at Wychwood School for girls in Oxford. She did not attend university. Writing stories from an early age, she finished her first full-length novel when she was sixteen and had her first short story for adults accepted for publication when she was seventeen. In 1941 her first children's story was broadcast on the BBC's Children's Hour.


Aiken worked for the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in London between 1943 and 1949. In 1945 she married Ronald George Brown, a Journalist who was also working at UNIC. They had two children before he died in 1955.


After her husband's death, Aiken joined the magazine Argosy, where she worked in various editorial capacities and, she later said, learned her trade as a Writer. The magazine was one of many in which she published short stories between 1955 and 1960. During this time she also published her first two collections of children's stories and began work on a children's novel, initially titled Bonnie Green, which was later published in 1962 as The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. By then she was able to write full-time from home, producing two or three books a year for the rest of her life, mainly children's books and thrillers, as well as many articles, introductions and talks on children's literature and on the work of Jane Austen.


Some of her books focus on spine-chilling or supernatural events, including The Windscreen Weepers (stories, 1969), The Shadow Guests (novel, 1980), A Whisper in the Night (stories, 1982), and A Creepy Company (stories, 1993, with variant contents in its US and UK editions). She set her adult supernatural novel, The Haunting of Lamb House, at Lamb House in Rye (now a National Trust property). This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E. F. Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories.


Aiken's series of children's books about Arabel and Mortimer were illustrated by Quentin Blake. Others were illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski and Pat Marriott. Pieńkowski won the foremost British award for children's book illustration, the Greenaway Medal, for The Kingdom Under the Sea and Other Stories (Jonathan Cape, 1971), a collection of "unique fairy tales from Eastern Europe and Russia" retold by Aiken.


Aiken married the New York landscape Painter and Teacher Julius Goldstein in 1976. They divided their time between her home, the Hermitage in Petworth, Sussex, and New York. He died in 2001.


Many of Aiken's most popular books, including the Wolves Chronicles (also known as The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series or the James III series), are set in an elaborate alternative history of Britain in which James II was never deposed in the Glorious Revolution, but supporters of the House of Hanover continually agitate against the monarchy. These books also toy with the geography of London, adding a Canal District among other features. Wolves have invaded the country from Europe via the newly built Channel Tunnel. The novels share a varying cast and a variety of interlinked child protagonists – initially Bonnie Green, but subsequently her itinerant friend Simon, Simon's intrepid Cockney friend Dido Twite (the heroine of most of the books), Dido's half-sister Is and Owen Hughes (son of Dido's Royal Navy ally Captain Hughes).

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