Saturday, February 12, 2011

Requiescat in Pace

I was greatly saddened to lear that Liverpool children's author, Brian Jacques, died last week, on February 5th. I grew up reading the Redwall books - having received "Mossflower" one year as a gift. Whether it was a Christmas gift, or a birthday gift, I cannot now recall, for it was a very long time ago, but I remember the medieval cover vividly, and that I devoured it. I eagerly leapt upon each new book as it came out, and it was not uncommon for me to stay up way too late reading 'just one more chapter' until I had finished the book completely. I loved the rollicking style of his writing, his cheerful poetry, and unassuming bravery of his peace-loving characters. I enjoyed his use of dialect, especially the Somerset accent of the moles, and suspect that my delight in language may have been influenced as much by the Redwall books, as by Tolkien and the Irish songs the Clancy Brothers used to sing. I suppose that they are very simple stories, good vs. evil adventures, and rather formulamatic, but they are also jolly good fun, and I have never managed to outgrow my pleasure in them.

The LA Times has published an obituary for Brian Jacques, for those who are intersted, but what I would really recommend for those who would like to know more about the man, is to read the interview with him in The Wand in the Word. It was a delightful interview, and Mr. Jacques himself comes off as quite the character.


Molly said...

Oh, that is terribly sad news! He certainly has provided me with many a happy hour (though I still shiver when I think about a swim I took in a murky lake, hard on the heels of reading about that one pike-like creature. . .I think it was in either "Mattimeo" or "The Bellmaker). God rest his soul.

Teresa said...

Ack! I is so sad. :'( Brian Jacques was one of my faaavorite authors. **Sniff** no more Redwall books. I must pray for him.

Cat said...

I feel like I have lost one of my best friends. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do, knowing that I'm not going to ever get a new Redwall book again. **sadness!**

Amy said...

I LOVED every one of his books. In fact, they were basically the only books I took the time for when I was little. He managed to make his characters SO utterly real and wonderful...(I think I cried over every one of his books as well!:-)
I'm praying very hard for him.