Thursday, 20 October 2011

Eva Ibbotson: a year on

Last August, I discovered the author that is Eva Ibbotson.
I had heard her before and seen a few of her younger aged books in libraries and book shops frequently. I started by reading The Secret Countess, a beautiful story centred around the ending of the Romanov's and the low, middle and high class of English society in the 1910's. Anna is a wonderful girl and someone I wanted to meet and even aspired to as a character.

I, then, proceeded to read A Song for Summer which ended the year 2010 for me. This is when I realised. I remember the day I was going the review for it earlier this year. I typed the name in Google, just to see if there was an author's website to add to the review. There wasn't. But then, I saw further down the page a link to an obituary by The Guardian (an English newspaper). It was in this moment that I realised that the author I had come to love after two books - had died.
And this was the first I heard of it.

Eva Ibbotson died a year ago today, aged 83. She was a mostly children's writer in England and eventually, the world. She wrote numerous children's books that won several prizes each with it.
The books that teenagers my age have fallen in love with again recently, were first published in the 1980's as adult books. Recently, they have been re-published, just before her death where they became so much more popular.

Her writing is one like no other. I like to read all sorts of books, Young Adult or Adult Fiction. But I find with Young Adult, it can be too unrealistic, or too different and young. When with Adult Fiction, it tackles more adult issues which sixteen year-old's don't want to think about right now. Eva Ibbotson's books provided a view in to a world of writing where they address us 'Young Adults' in a mature way that we can easily understand. Her writing provided vivid descriptions of foreign places such as Austria and war time London.

I can't believe so few have heard of this author, but for me, she should be remembered for making so many stories for us to read, regardless of our age. I know her stories, the ones I have read so far, will never quite leave me and I hope to pass them on to the generations to come.


  1. I love her books.I absolutely love them and read them over and over again,rereading my favourite descriptive parts. There is so much I have become after reading her books. Every bit of her writing is like a gift to the reader i feel.I just wish more people knew of her.

  2. I personally have never read any of her books, although I have heard of her. I really must pick one up sometime.

    Haha, it's ok if you haven't heard of the Stone Roses, unless you're into the whole Madchester movement era of music, you probably wouldn't have!

  3. Eva Ibboston's writing is fabulous - I agree, I cannot believe more people do not know about this person. Her writing is beautiful, her books are new classics! Thanks for posting.

  4. What a great post-she must be a brilliant writer. I have one of her books, A Company of Swans, I must read it when I can!

  5. Cliona: I haven't personally read that one of hers but I have the book. I've heard it's pretty good though.

    Thank you for your comments above. I'm glad that some of you agree with me about this author. And Zoe, it is true, they are kind of 'new classic' books.

  6. Hi Rebecca, what a lovely post. I work at Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne. Eva Ibbotson was born locally and much of her work is safe and sound in our collections and archives. You're right, not enough people have heard of her. And she created Platform 13 1/2 Kings Cross station long before HP ;)

  7. Cathy's recommendation is an excellent one (I do hope it is a recommendation) - but the absolute highlight of Eva Ibbotson works to me is "Journey to the River Sea". Nothing beats it, in my opinion.

  8. I'm so happy with the response to this post!

    Cathy: I'm glad to hear that it's safe for future generations. I think many might have heard of her books. I know I had heard of Journey to the River Sea before I discovered her - they just need to pick up a book of hers and read it.

    Nessie: Is it? I might try and look for it. I've only read her young adult novels. Seriously? I've seen it around for years but something always used to stop me picking it up to read. I'll have a look out if it's good :)


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