Monday, May 16, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones, We’ll Miss You

Diana Wynne Jones began her writing career as a playwright in the 1960s, but quickly moved on to be a fantasy fiction author. Since 1970, she wrote over forty books for children and young adults. Her website at lists most of them, while Goodreads touts “81 Distinct Works” for Diana Wynne Jones. (Translations of her books are included on this list, as well as short story collections and anthologies to which she contributed.) According to her author page at HarperCollins, “her books have earned a wide array of honors—including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors—and appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists.”

Diana Wynne Jones died on March 26, 2011, after a battle with lung cancer. In trying to find fitting words to describe her wonderful wit, her sense of story, and her keen ability to make the fantastic into something real, I found no better words to use than her own:

Where is the road to Babylon?
Right beside your door.
Can I walk that way whenever I want?
No, three times and no more.
If you mark the road and measure it right
You can get there by candle-light.
--The Babylon Secret
Deep Secret
"I am a believer in free will. If my dog chooses to hate the
whole human race except myself, it must be free to do so."
-- Castle in the Air

"Being a child of Earth means more than you think."
-- The Master of the Hunt

"They may say money is the root of all evil,
but it always strikes me as the root of
most other things as well."
-- Wilkins' Tooth
"She knew there was a rule about not running in the
corridors, but she was not sure it applied to
people without bodies."-- The Time of the Ghost

"In addition, Master Twinkle seems convinced
that someone is denying him a pair of stripey trousers."
-- House of Many Ways

"Is it a new thought then, to say: keep on, there's always hope?
I thought that was a very old saying."
"Yes, but you're the first person I've met who's
still saying it when he's dead. That has to be new."
-- Crown of Dalemark

Come with me, come with me.
The Blackbird asks you, 'Follow me.'
No one will know, no one will know,
Wherever you go, I shall go.
Come with me. Morning spreads,
Clouds are high in milk effects,
The moon looks like a white thumbnail,
Larks are singing up the dale. The sun is up, so follow me. I'd like us to go secretly
Along for road, across the hill
Where water runs and woods are still.
-- Dagner's song, Cart and Cwidder

Thanks to the Crestomanci Castle website for supplying these quotes, and more.

More information on the life and works of Diana Wynne Jones may be found at:

The Official Diana Wynne Jones website:

The Many Worlds of Diana Wynne Jones:

The art at the top of the page is found at


  1. Carol--I love the new header! Very nice color scheme and font, too. Well done!

  2. Thanks for this. There's still an enormous, vaguely Chrestomanci-shaped hole in the universe, but this helps. :) --Adi

  3. Adi--We couldn't let her death pass without notice. She was an inspiration to many.