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Eva Ibbotson (1925–2010)

Author of The Secret of Platform 13

42+ Works 19,826 Members 498 Reviews 81 Favorited

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 21, 1925. She graduated from Bedford College, London with a degree in physiology in 1945 and the University of Durham with a degree in education in 1965. Her first book, The Great Ghost Rescue, was published in 1975. She primarily wrote show more children's book and romance novels for adults and young adults. Her other works include The Secret of Platform 13, The Star of Kazan, Which Witch?, Island of the Aunts, Dial-a-Ghost, The Ogre of Oglefort, A Company of Swans, and A Song For Summer. She won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Journey to the River Sea. She died on October 20, 2010 at the age of 85. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13 (1994) 2,518 copies
Journey to the River Sea (2001) 2,068 copies
Which Witch? (1979) 1,853 copies
The Secret Countess (1981) 1,734 copies
Island of the Aunts (1999) 1,546 copies
The Star of Kazan (2004) 1,327 copies
A Company of Swans (1985) 967 copies
Dial-a-Ghost (1996) 957 copies
A Song for Summer (1997) 913 copies
The Morning Gift (1993) 908 copies
The Great Ghost Rescue (1975) 792 copies
Magic Flutes (1982) 725 copies
The Dragonfly Pool (2008) 662 copies
Not Just a Witch (1989) 454 copies
One Dog and His Boy (2011) 344 copies
Madensky Square (1988) 259 copies
The Ogre of Oglefort (2010) 217 copies
The Abominables (2012) 207 copies
Mountwood School for Ghosts (1837) 29 copies
Beyond Platform 13 (2019) 17 copies
Books 1 copy
Fantasmi in riserva (2023) 1 copy
Gran Angular 1 copy

Associated Works

Heidi (1880) — Introduction, some editions — 11,370 copies
Daddy-Long-Legs (1912) — Introduction, some editions — 3,305 copies
Fantasy Stories (1994) — Contributor — 321 copies
Manja: The Story of Five Children (1938) — Preface, some editions — 148 copies
Good Housekeeping Short Story Collection (1997) — Contributor — 15 copies


20th century (80) adventure (252) Austria (156) Brazil (94) children (274) children's (592) children's books (89) children's fantasy (78) children's fiction (214) children's literature (220) classic (115) classics (108) ebook (79) England (191) epistolary (91) fantasy (1,380) fiction (1,812) ghosts (186) historical (222) historical fiction (609) humor (159) juvenile (149) juvenile fiction (84) kids (98) Kindle (75) magic (194) middle grade (111) mystery (87) novel (137) orphans (175) own (137) read (218) romance (556) to-read (692) unread (117) Vienna (143) witches (135) WWII (172) YA (432) young adult (499)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Ibbotson, Eva
Legal name
Wiesner Ibbotson, Eva Maria Charlotte Michelle
Date of death
Vienna, Austria
Place of death
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England, UK
Cause of death
heart attack
Places of residence
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
London, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK
University of London (BA|1945 - Bedford College, Physiology)
University of Cambridge
University of Durham (Dipl. 1965)
children's book author
Gmeyner, Anna (mother)
Ibbotson, Alan (husband)
Wiesner, Bertold (father)
Awards and honors
Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (2001, 2004)
Short biography
Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner, 1925, Vienna, Austria) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy. Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in education in 1965. Ibbotson had intended to be a physiologist, but was put off by the amount of animal testing that she would have to do. Instead, she married and raised a family, returning to school to become a teacher in the 1960's. Ibbotson was widowed with three sons and a daughter.

Ibottson began writing with the television drama Linda Came Today, in 1965. Ten years later, she published her first novel, The Great Ghost Rescue. Ibbotson has written numerous books including The Secret of Platform 13, Journey to the River Sea, Which Witch?, Island of the Aunts, and Dial-a-Ghost. She won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Journey to the River Sea, and has been a runner up for many of major awards for British children's literature. The books are imaginative and humorous, and most of them feature magical creatures and places, despite the fact that she disliked thinking about the supernatural, and created the characters because she wanted to decrease her readers' fear of such things. Some of the books, particularly Journey to the River Sea, also reflect Ibbotson's love of nature. Ibbotson wrote this book in honor of her husband (who had died just before she wrote it), a former naturalist. The book had been in her head for years before she actually wrote it. Ibbotson said she dislikes "financial greed and a lust for power" and often creates antagonists in her books who have these characteristics. Some have been struck by the similarity of "Platform 9 3/4" in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books to Ibbotson's The Secret of Platform 13, which came out three years before the first Harry Potter book.

Her love of Austria is evident in works such as The Star Of Kazan and A Song For Summer. These books, set primarily in the Austrian countryside, display the author's love for nature and all things natural.




Downton abbey on crack.
sweetimpact | 63 other reviews | Jan 18, 2024 |
This is a truly delightful, old-fashioned story set in beautiful Vienna. Much like The Little Princess, it features a sweet child who is penniless and ill treated until the mystery is all worked out. While not a mystery that the reader doesn't figure out a little too soon, the characters and writing area all worth the read.
mslibrarynerd | 40 other reviews | Jan 13, 2024 |
Wildly imaginative; wicked good fun from the first page, for the young and the young at heart.
D_J_Walker | 30 other reviews | Sep 27, 2023 |
A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom--an island where humans live happily with mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the Island's young prince, it's up to a strange band of rescuers to save him. But can the rescuers--an ogre, a hag, a wizard, and a fey--sneak around London unnoticed? Fans of Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, and E. Nesbit will delight in this comic fantasy.… (more)
PlumfieldCH | 39 other reviews | Sep 21, 2023 |



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