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Helen Cresswell (1934–2005) Biography

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born July 11, 1934, in Nottingham, England; died of cancer, September 26, 2005, in Eakring, Nottinghamshire, England. Author. Cresswell was an award-winning children's author known for her works of fantasy and humor for all ages, including the popular "Bagthorpe" books. Interested in writing from an early age, she enjoyed poetry and once said she started composing her first works when she was just six or seven. Cresswell graduated from the University of London in 1955 and then worked in several different occupations, including as a teacher and fashion buyer. Her first book, Sonya-by-the-Shore, was published in 1960; her next, Jumbo Spencer, would not appear until three years later, but by the mid-1960s Cresswell became extremely prolific. Over the next four decades she completed over one hundred books. Four of these, The Piemakers (1967), The Night-Watchmen (1969), Up the Pier (1971), and The Bongleweed (1973), were nominated for the Carnegie Medal; she was also the runner-up for the Whitbread Literary Award for The Secret World of Polly Flint (1982). Though she would not win either of these prestigious prizes, Cresswell received a Phoenix Award from the Children's Literature Association for The Night-Watchmen in 1989, as well as other honors. Her "Bagthorpe" series was adapted to television, as were many of her other stories. Cresswell not only had her work adapted to television but she also wrote screen-plays for the small screen herself, including her own Lizzie Dripping and the Witch, which was also produced for the London stage. Other series by Cresswell include the "Jumbo Spencer," "Two Hoots," "Posy Bates," and "Lizzie Dripping" books.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Daily Telegraph (London, England), September 29, 2005, p. 1.

Guardian (London, England), September 29, 2005, p. 29; October 1, 2005, p. 30.

Independent (London, England), September 28. 2005, p. 38.

Times (London, England), September 30, 2005, p. 69.

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