Diana Wynne Jones was born in London, England, in 1934, the daughter of educators. She has written that her relationship with her parents was a troubled one: They were dedicated to their careers, and Diana and her two sisters received little support or encouragement from them.
Growing up during World War II was also difficult for Jones, who was intermittently sent out of London to avoid the bombings, but who nonetheless developed a keen sense of the dangers of war. Jones wrote, "When the siren sounded at night, we went to the ground floor where we sat and listened to the blunt bang and sharp yammer of gunfire and bombs whistle as they fell, or watched searchlights rhythmically ruling lines in the sky." She recalls that amid all that, her grandmother provided a welcome relief from the worries of the war and from her alienating home life. "Granny was truly marvelous, five feet of Yorkshire common sense, love, and superstition."
Jones realized at the age of eight that she wanted to be a writer. Although she "suffered from perpetual book starvation," she read as many books as she could find, and by the time she was fourteen she had written two books of her own. In 1956 she received her bachelor's degree from St. Anne's College at Oxford, where she had attended lectures by authors C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Later that year she married John Burrow, with whom she had three sons.
It was after the birth of her sons that Jones...
(The entire section is 499 words.)