Diana Wynne Jones was born on August 16, 1934, in London, England. She has described her childhood as unusual and disorganized, and her mature writing developed from this perspective. When she was five, her parents undertook the first of several dislocations because of the outbreak of World War II. Jones spent some months with her grandparents in Wales where she heard incomprehensible, rolling Welsh syllables and paragraphs she could never forget. She has said that she listens to them when she is writing, like a flow of music in her mind.
Her parents, by 1943, settled the family in a rural Essex village to manage a young adult conference/cultural center and school there. They chose to live in the main residence apart from Jones and their two younger daughters, whom they housed neglectfully in an uncomfortable hut. The three sisters, as avid readers, could never get enough books. Her father kept children's novels by Arthur Ransome locked away, and he presented his daughters with just one each Christmas. This probably encouraged Jones to develop her storytelling skills because, by the time she was fourteen, she wrote her own narratives to read aloud to her sisters.
Jones went to St. Ann's College, Oxford in 1953, and she found the lectures by C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien inspirational. After her marriage in 1956 to English scholar and professor John Burrow, Jones took up writing again. She felt that her three sons needed good books to read,...
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