Jasper Fforde

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Jasper Fforde
File:Jasper fforde 2012.jpg
Fforde at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Born (1961-01-11) 11 January 1961 (age 58)
London, England
Occupation Novelist
Genre Alternate history, comic fantasy
Literary movement Postmodern literature

Jasper Fforde (born 11 January 1961) is a British novelist. Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. Fforde is mainly known for his Thursday Next novels, although he has written several books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and has begun two more independent series, The Last Dragonslayer and Shades of Grey.


Fforde was born in London on 11 January 1961, the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England (whose signature appeared on sterling banknotes during his time in office). He is the cousin, by her marriage to Desmond Fforde, of the author Katie Fforde,[1] the grandson of Polish political adviser Joseph Retinger,[2] and a great-grandson of journalist E. D. Morel.

Early life

Fforde was educated at the progressive Dartington Hall School, and his early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films, including The Trial, Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment.[3]


Fforde published his first novel, The Eyre Affair, in 2001.

His published books include a series of novels starring the literary detective Thursday Next: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of our Thursdays Is Missing and The Woman Who Died a Lot. The Eyre Affair had received 76 publisher rejections before its eventual acceptance for publication.[4] Fforde won the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction in 2004 for The Well of Lost Plots.[5]

The Big Over Easy (2005), set in the same alternative universe as the Next novels, is a reworking of his first written novel, which initially failed to find a publisher. Its original title was Who Killed Humpty Dumpty?,[6] and later had the working title of Nursery Crime, which is the title now used to refer to this series of books. These books describe the investigations of DCI Jack Spratt. The follow-up to The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear, was published in July 2006 and focuses on Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Fforde's books are noted for their profusion of literary allusions and wordplay, tightly scripted plots, and playfulness with the conventions of traditional genres. His works usually contain elements of metafiction, parody, and fantasy. None of his books has a chapter 13 except in the table of contents where there is a title of the chapter and a page number. In many of the books the page number is, in fact, the page right before the first page of chapter 14. However, in some the page number is just a page somewhere in chapter 12.

Shades of Grey, the first novel in a new series, was published December 2009 in the United States and January 2010 in the United Kingdom. The sixth Thursday Next novel One of our Thursdays is Missing was published in February 2011.[7]

In November 2010 he produced The Last Dragonslayer, unconnected with his other works but in a similar though simplified style, a young-adult fantasy novel about a teenage orphan.[8] The book was originally planned as the first in a trilogy.[9] Subsequent entries were released in 2011 and 2014; a fourth book is scheduled for 2016.[10]

Short stories

In 2009, Fforde published a story in the Welsh edition of Big Issue magazine (a magazine distributed by the homeless) called "We are all alike" (previously called "The Man with no face").[11] He also published "The Locked Room Mystery mystery" [sic] in the The Guardian newspaper in 2007 and this story remains online.[12] The U.S. version of Well of Lost Plots features a bonus chapter (34b) called "Heavy Weather", a complete story in itself, featuring Thursday Next in her position as Bellman.

Other interests

Fforde has an interest in aviation and owns and flies a Rearwin Skyranger.


Fforde Ffiesta

Originating with the Fforde Ffestival in September 2005, the Fforde Ffiesta (cf. Ford Fiesta) is now an annual event built around Fforde's books and held in Thursday Next's home town of Swindon. Held over the May bank holiday weekend, people travel from as far away as Australia and the USA to take part in a wide range of events, including a re-enacting of gameshow Name That Fruit, Hamlet Speed Reading competitions and interactive performances of Richard III.


  1. "Jasper Fforde Fan club FfAQs". Retrieved 2008-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Jasper Fforde website". Retrieved 2010-06-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Jasper Fforde at the Internet Movie Database
  4. John Sutherland (26 July 2003). "If it's Thursday it must be the valley of death". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. John Ezard (31 May 2004). "Lost Plots gains a prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Peter Guttridge (19 June 2005). "Back off or Humpty Dumpty gets it". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-11-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Jasper Fforde's twitter page". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-09-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "The Last Dragonslayer". Jasper Fforde.com. Retrieved 2013-07-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Dragonslayer page". Retrieved 2011-02-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Special Page". Retrieved 2015-01-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Jasper Fforde's website. http://www.jasperfforde.com/bookshelf/bookother_6.html
  12. Guardian website. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/dec/24/extract.originalwriting
  13. "Jasper Fforde.com : Next Book, New Page: News of upcoming publications". Retrieved 2012-04-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Jasper Fforde.com : Next Book". Retrieved 2014-11-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Early-Riser-Jasper-Fforde/dp/144476358X/

External links