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Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde at a book signing in New York July 2007
Born 11 January 1961 (1961-01-11) (age 49)
London, England
Occupation novelist
Genres Alternate history, Comic fantasy
Literary movement Postmodern literature
Official website

Jasper Fforde (born 11 January 1961) is an English 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 another series, the Nursery Crime Stories series.



Fforde was born in London on 11 January 1961. His father was 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 of the author Katie Fforde's husband, [1] and a great-grandson of 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 Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment. [2]


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, and First Among Sequels. The Eyre Affair had received 76 publisher rejections before its eventual acceptance for publication.[3] Fforde won the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction in 2004 for The Well of Lost Plots.[4]

The Big Over Easy (2005), which shares a similar setting with 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?[5], 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 word play, tightly scripted plots, and playfulness with the conventions of traditional genres. His works usually contain various 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. The page number is, in fact, the page right before the first page of chapter 14.

In 2006 Jasper Fforde said:

The Thursday Next series has four books, so the next book I'm going to be writing is five, so we're going to go back to her for a book and after that I don't know, I might experiment with a new series or two. It's an exciting time because I don't know what's going to come out in '09. I am going to have a book for '09 but I don't know what it's about, and that's very exciting because where is it, right now? It's going to be there in two years' time but it's not here now. I pledged a book a year for 10 years to try and get established and that finishes in four years and I said to myself that I could have a year off then. So I'm looking forward to that.[6]

Fforde recently stated that there will be "No new Fforde book for 2008"[7], and publication of the first novel in his new "Shades of Grey" series is now planned for December 2009 in the US and January 2010 in the UK, having been originally announced by publishers as available in summer 2008 and then July 2009[8]. According to the (less recent) First Among Sequels Special Features section on Fforde's website, the sixth Thursday Next novel, entitled One of our Thursdays is Missing, is scheduled to be published in January 2011[9]. However he only started writing the book on December 1, 2009. [10]

Fforde also plans a third Nursery Crime novel, The Last Great Tortoise Race:

The Last Great Tortoise Race will be the third and final installment of the NCD series. I have no idea when it will be written, or published.[11]

Short Stories

Jasper Fforde published a story in the Welsh edition of the UK Big Issue magazine (a magazine distributed by the homeless) called "We are all alike" (previously called "The Man with no face") on Sep 19, 2009 [12] He also published "The Locked Room Mystery mystery" (sic) in the UK Guardian newspaper on Monday 24 November 2007 and this story remains online. [13]

Other interests

Fforde has an interest in aviation, and owns and flies a DH 82 Tiger Moth (referred to indirectly in the books, where a pet Tasmanian Tiger is called DH82).



  1. ^ "Jasper Fforde Fan club FfAQs". Retrieved 2008-01-13.  
  2. ^ Jasper Fforde at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ John Sutherland (26 July 2003). "If it's Thursday it must be the valley of death". The Guardian.,,1005687,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  4. ^ John Ezard (31 May 2004). "Lost Plots gains a prize". The Guardian.,,1228118,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  5. ^ Peter Guttridge (19 June 2005). "Back off or Humpty Dumpty gets it". The Observer.,,1508996,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  6. ^ Gary Kemble (2006-09-16). "Q & A: Jasper Fforde". Articulate. ABC News. Retrieved 2008-02-01.  
  7. ^ "Jasper : What's New?". 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2008-02-01.  
  8. ^ "Adult Hardcover May - August 2008 Frontlist". Penguin Group (US). Retrieved 2008-02-01.  
  9. ^ "Fforde's next-next novel". Retrieved 2009-01-16.  
  10. ^ Jasper Fforde's twitter page. [1]
  11. ^ "Jasper : Frequently Asked Questions".  
  12. ^ Jasper Fforde's website.
  13. ^ Guardian website.
  14. ^ "Jasper : The next next book".  

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jasper Fforde (born 1961-01-11) is an English-born Welsh novelist and aviator. He is the author of the popular Thursday Next series, as well as the Nursery Crime books.


  • The neanderthal experiment was simultaneously the high and low point of the genetic revolution. Successful in that a long-dead cousin of Homo sapien was brought back from extinction, yet a failure in that the scientists, so happy to gaze upon their experiments from their ever lofty ivory towers, had not seen so far as to consider the social implications that a new species of man might command in a world unvisited by their like for over 30 millennia. It was little surprise that so many neanderthals felt confused and unprepared for the pressures of modern life. It was Homo sapien at his least sapient.
    • Lost In A Good Book (2002), ch. 4a, p. 67
  • Miss Havisham had told me about Generics. They were created here in the Well to populate the books that were to be written. At the point of creation they were simply a human canvas without paint - blank like a coin, ready to be stamped with individualism. They had no history, no conflicts, no foibles - nothing that might make them either readable or interesting in any way. It was up to various institutions to teach them to be useful members of fiction. They were graded, too. A to D, one through ten. Any that were D-graded were like worker bees in crowds and busy streets. Small speaking parts were C-grades; B-grades usually made up the bulk of featured but not leading characters. These parts usually -but not always- went to the A-grades, handpicked for their skills at character projection and multidimensionality.
    • The Well of Lost Plots (2003), ch.1, p. 11

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