Friends and fiends — Calmgrove

Joan Aiken’s The Cuckoo Tree (reviewed here) has a few dozen fairly distinctive characters, though some readers may find it hard to keep a track of them all. This post aims to provide a Who’s Who of individuals mentioned in the novel. As is the custom, the usual proviso about spoilers applies.

via Friends and fiends — Calmgrove

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“A small slipshod girl” — Calmgrove

I’m about to begin (again) The Cuckoo Tree, another of the titles in Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles — also known as the James III sequence or, as I like to think of it, the Dido Twite series, after the character who takes a lead role in all but four of the novels. This particular instalment […]

via “A small slipshod girl” — Calmgrove

Who was Dido Twite..? — Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken’s unforgettable and irrepressible heroine, the ‘brat’ turned child Odysseus, friend to the lonely and unlucky, future saviour (many times over!) of her Kingdom and much loved inspiration to readers, Dido first appears in the second of the Wolves Chronicles, Black Hearts in Battersea, but from her humble beginnings, she goes on to rule […]

via Who was Dido Twite..? — Joan Aiken

Pastoral Elegy, Autobiography or Gothic Mystery? It’s a Joan Aiken! — Joan Aiken

‘This story is just too hard to swallow” was the editor’s note on an early story by Joan Aiken… and she later said: “He was talking about the only story I ever wrote, flat, from real life, and it taught me a useful lesson about the risks of using unvarnished experience.” Other writers have also […]

via Pastoral Elegy, Autobiography or Gothic Mystery? It’s a Joan Aiken! — Joan Aiken

Pastoral Elegy, Autobiography or Gothic Mystery? It’s a Joan Aiken! — Joan Aiken

‘This story is just too hard to swallow” was the editor’s note on an early story by Joan Aiken… and she later said: “He was talking about the only story I ever wrote, flat, from real life, and it taught me a useful lesson about the risks of using unvarnished experience.” Other writers have also […]

via Pastoral Elegy, Autobiography or Gothic Mystery? It’s a Joan Aiken! — Joan Aiken

Happy Ever After? Joan Aiken heroines expect more…

Joan Aiken

Suspense Group 1…and it doesn’t all end with romance! Joan Aiken’s  modern suspense novels, full of grown up heroines who are every bit as plucky and determined as Dido Twite, and who have just as many extraordinary adventures, are now all being re-published as EBooks.

Joan Aiken’s writing for adults drew on her own fairly colourful  life experience, as much as on her enjoyment of dramatic and sensational reading, and while she had planned since childhood to be a writer and carry on in her family profession, the early death of the husband she met at nineteen, had a profound effect on her, leaving her, in her twenties, free to pursue her chosen career, but with the financial responsibility for a young family – a combination which strongly marked not only her own personality but  that of her fictional heroines.

As one reader commented, she usually wrote about young women who found…

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