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Jill Paton Walsh (1937–2020)

Author of Thrones, Dominations

60+ Works 7,460 Members 235 Reviews 9 Favorited
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About the Author

Jill Paton Walsh was born Gillian Bliss on April 29, 1937 in London. She graduated from St. Anne's College in Oxford. She taught at the Enfield Girls' Grammar School for three years and was a permanent visiting faculty member for the Center for Children's Literature at Simmons College in Boston, show more Massachusetts. She was also an adjunct British board member of Children's Literature New England. She has written more than 15 books for children. She has won numerous awards including the Book World Festival Award for Fireweed in 1970, the Whitbread Prize for The Emperor's Winding Sheet in1974, the Universe Prize for A Parcel of Patterns in 1984, and the Smarties Grand Prix for Gaffer Samson's Luck in 1984. She has also written adult novels, including completing an unfinished Dorothy Sayers manuscript. Her adult works include Knowledge of Angels, The Serpentine Cave, and A School for Lovers. She is the author of the Imogen Quy Mystery series and the Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery series. She was elected as fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1996. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Jill Paton Walsh

Thrones, Dominations (1998) — Author — 1,699 copies
A Presumption of Death (2002) 956 copies
The Green Book (1981) 633 copies
Knowledge of Angels (1993) 575 copies
The Attenbury Emeralds (2010) 560 copies
The Late Scholar (2013) 358 copies
A Parcel of Patterns (1983) 344 copies
The Wyndham Case (1993) 186 copies
Pepi and the Secret Names (1994) 182 copies
A Piece of Justice (1995) 176 copies
Fireweed (1969) 174 copies
Debts of Dishonor (2006) 152 copies
The Bad Quarto (2007) 149 copies
A Desert in Bohemia (2000) 136 copies
The Dolphin Crossing (1967) 124 copies
The Emperor's Winding Sheet (1974) 117 copies
A Chance Child (1978) 90 copies
The Serpentine Cave (1988) 68 copies
When Grandma Came (1992) 66 copies
Gaffer Samson's Luck (1984) 63 copies
Grace (1991) 61 copies
When I Was Little Like You (1997) 61 copies
Goldengrove Unleaving (1997) 57 copies
Unleaving (1976) 55 copies
Goldengrove (1972) 44 copies
Torch (1987) 36 copies
Lapsing (1986) 35 copies
Hengest's Tale (1965) 26 copies
Children of the Fox (1842) 26 copies
Farewell, Great King (1972) 24 copies
A School for Lovers (1989) 20 copies
Matthew and the Sea Singer (1993) 19 copies
Birdy and the Ghosties (1989) 18 copies
The Butty Boy (1975) 17 copies
Connie Came to Play (1995) 13 copies
Thomas and the Tinners (1995) 11 copies
The Huffler (1975) 10 copies
Lost and Found (1984) 8 copies
The Green Book 7 copies
Toolmaker (1973) 6 copies
Babylon (1982) 4 copies
Shine (1988) 4 copies
Can I play Queenie (1990) 4 copies
Crossing to Salamis (1977) 4 copies
Five Tides (1986) 3 copies
Can I Play Jenny Jones (1990) 2 copies
The dawnstone (1979) 2 copies
Can I play Wolf (1990) 1 copy
Wimsey Untitled (2022) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Nine Tailors (1934) — Introduction, some editions — 4,301 copies
The Children of Green Knowe (1954) — Afterword, some editions — 1,609 copies
Interfaces (1980) — Contributor — 154 copies
Adventure Stories (1988) — Contributor — 80 copies
Celebrate Cricket: 30 Years of Stories and Art (2003) — Contributor — 43 copies
Slightly Foxed 4: Now we're shut in for the night (2004) — Contributor — 32 copies
Memories (1992) — Introduction — 30 copies
Out of Time (1984) — Contributor — 18 copies
The Thorny Paradise: Writers on Writing for Children (1975) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing (2012) — Contributor — 10 copies
To Break the Silence (1986) — Contributor — 9 copies
Thrilling Adventure Stories (1988) — Contributor — 5 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 8, April 1981 — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 7, March 1981 — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 6, February 1981 (1981) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 7, March 1976 (1976) — Contributor — 3 copies
Young Winter's Tales 7 (1976) — Contributor — 2 copies
Young Winter's Tales 1 (1970) — Contributor — 1 copy


1930s (53) 20th century (119) amateur detective (64) British (249) British literature (50) British mystery (51) children (57) children's (211) children's fiction (65) children's literature (103) crime (322) crime fiction (132) detective (165) detective fiction (91) Dorothy L. Sayers (58) ebook (67) England (272) English (53) fantasy (233) fiction (1,551) ghosts (89) Harriet Vane (92) historical (55) historical fiction (211) Kindle (86) Lord Peter Wimsey (518) mysteries (58) mystery (1,946) novel (180) own (63) paperback (48) read (170) Sayers (95) science fiction (114) series (132) to-read (319) unread (61) Wimsey (155) WWII (70) young adult (48)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Walsh, Jill Paton
Legal name
Paton Walsh, Gillian
Other names
Bliss, Gillian Honorine Mary (birth name)
Date of death
North Finchley, London, England, UK
Place of death
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Places of residence
Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley
University of Oxford (St Anne's College)
Townsend, John Rowe (husband)
Paton Walsh, Anthony (former husband)
Bliss, Christopher (brother)
Simmons College
Awards and honors
Order of the British Empire (Commander ∙ 1996)
Fellow, Royal Society of Literature
Short biography
Born Gillian Bliss in London on 25 April 1937. Educated at St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St. Anne's College, Oxford. In 1961 she married Anthony Paton Walsh, who died in 2003. In 2004 she married writer John Rowe Townsend, who died in 2014. Her books included fiction for children and teenagers, crime fiction (including additional books about Dorothy L Sayers' character Lord Peter Wimsey) and other novels. She was a 'permanent visiting faculty member' of the Centre for Children's Literature, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts from 1978 to 1986. In 1996 she received the CBE for services to literature, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She died in October 2020.




A novel of the life of Themistocles, told in the first person, as Themistocles looks back on his whole life. Full of politics and the details of life in the nascent Athenian democracy. Many an ostrakon with the name of Themistocles has been dug up in the modern era. According to the novel, every year or so between the first and second Persian Wars somebody would decide to try to ostracize him, and his supporters would then have to campaign to ostracize someone else instead. He was the runner up four times, but never the first choice selected then. Lucky, as he points out, for Athens.

Looking back, he sees how the Greek cities have cruelly persecuted the ones who have served them most ably. The story of Miltiades is harsher than his own: the hero of Marathon, succumbing to gangrene, is fined an horrendous sum, then dies, and his son is forced into penury. All this happens just one year after the battle.

The details of life in Athens: the bathing, the technical details of vote collection, the exhausting march back to Athens after the battle of Marathon, the evacuation of Athens before the battle of Salamis, etc., are well realized.
… (more)
themulhern | 2 other reviews | Nov 21, 2023 |
I read this when I was 13, and it was the first time that I had encountered the idea that the future might not always mean forward progress, that there may be a limit to how far humanity can go before we regress. This really, really got inside my head, and to some extent it has changed how I view the future.

For the past 6 years I have been searching for this book, unable to recall the title or author. Now I've finally connected the story I remember with this book, and am the happy owner of a copy. It's like having a piece of my history back.
… (more)
blueskygreentrees | 1 other review | Jul 30, 2023 |
A young woman's account of the plague in Eyam, written in an attempt to exorcise her trauma, not that she put it like that, obviously, as the book's style and narrative voice did feel as if it could be authentically from the 17th century. The author captured the social and religious nuances well as the people were caught by the plague in the midst of a transition from strict Puritanism to the more easy-going ways of the Restoration.

The book is quite short at 135 pages, which is just as well as there are no chapter breaks.… (more)
Robertgreaves | 4 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |
I liked this book. It seemed like a good continuation of the Sayers mysteries. However, the mystery had places where some of the clues should have been obvious but weren't picked up on until later. I'm going to read at least one more of the books that Walsh has written
phyllis2779 | 47 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |



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