Wednesday, March 31, 2010

William Mayne

I received an email from Val Bierman today asking if we had heard of the death of William Mayne. I hadn't and on checking via google found a Times death announcement today from the undertakers and a full account in The Darlington and Stockton Times on 25 March. This said that "An award-winning children's writer whose career was ruined (2004) when he was jailed for sex attacks on children has been found dead at his home in the Yorkshire Dales. William Mayne who was 82 was the author of more than 100 books and regarded as one of the leading children's authors of the 20th century".

I remember the Archbishop of Canterbury defending his books (if not the man) at the Oxford Literary Festival in 2005. And I also remember an author who knew him well feeling that the accusation was unsound. I know nothing of him other than his books but find it extraordinary that his death should be so roundly ignored by the national press.
enid stephenson


Tosh said...

Me, too - I have had a Google alert out since I heard of William's death and apart from the report in the local paper (and two blogs including this one), the only alerts have been 2nd-hand books for sale.
I did know William (so did my children) and I tried to help him when his trial became a farce; I won't go into detail but I am satisfied that the charges were unfounded.

Enid Stephenson said...

There is now an obit in The Guardian 6 April by Julia Eccleshare reminding the reader of his many excellent books. And giving the news that Faber Finds are republishing some of his books...this particular imprint have made available again some terrific books but I do wish their jackets (whilst understanding the need for uniformity) were less dowdy and fussy. ES