Joan Aiken: Today's Google Doodle celebrates life of fantasy novelist

The much-loved author's work was popular with children and adults

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The Independent Culture

Google is celebrating the life of author Joan Aiken with a Doodle paying tribute to one of her most famous books.

Joan Aiken wrote more than a hundred books in her lifetime

Born in 1924 in Sussex, Ms Aiken became a leading literary figure known for her historical fantasy novels.

She was awarded an MBE in 199 for services to children’s literature.

She wrote more than a hundred books in her lifetime and is perhaps best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, which imagines a world in which James II has not been deposed in the seventeenth century.


Ms Aiken died in 2004, aged 79. September 4 would have been her 91st birthday.

A spokesperson for Google Doodle said: “Every so often an extraordinarily prolific author comes along to win the hearts of a generation. Writer Joan Aiken was one of those authors.  

“Her stunning volume of writing includes children’s books, thrillers, and literary works modelled after the fictional world created by Jane Austen. It’s hard enough to write for a single audience but Joan was comfortable writing a range of stories that everyone could enjoy.

“Today’s Doodle drawn by Kevin Laughlin pays tribute to The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, the novel that kicked off Joan’s most beloved series of children’s books.”