Search - List of Books by Barbara Willard
Barbara Mary Willard, (12 March 1909 - 18 February 1994) a British historical/children's author, was born in Brighton, Sussex in 1909, the daughter of the Shakespearean actor Edmund Willard and the great-niece of Victorian era actor Edward Smith Willard.
Total Books: 139
Because of her family connections, Willard originally went on the stage as an actress, but she was unsuccessful and abandoned acting in her early 20s. Her literary career spawned a great number of books for adults before she turned to children's literature. In 1967, the same year her earlier Richleighs of Tantamount debuted in the United States, she published A Grove of Green Holly, from which spun off her most famous series of books, Mantlemass. One of the books in this series, The Iron Lily, won Willard The Guardian Award for children's fiction in 1974.
Other books from Willard included Storm from the West (1964), Charity at Home (1966), Hetty (1963) and Three and One to Carry (1965). (Years shown are those for the North American first editions of these books.)
One of her last books, 'The Forest - Ashdown in East Sussex', published by Sweethaws Press in 1989, gives a detailed account of Ashdown Forest. In the introduction to the book, Christopher Robin Milne notes that Willard had moved from her home on the Sussex Downs to the edge of Ashdown Forest in 1956 and that her new surroundings had provided the inspiration and setting for ten of her children's historical novels (eight in the Mantlemass series and two others). It is evident by her own account in her book that she actively involved herself in the affairs of the forest. She was a representative of the forest Commoners elected to the forest's Board of Conservators in 1975, and she remained in that capacity for ten years. She tells how she was later heavily involved in the fundraising campaign which enabled East Sussex County Council to purchase the forest in 1988, enabling it to remain as a place of beauty and tranquillity open to the public.
Very little about the author was written during her lifetime, because of her private nature. She died in her native land in 1994.