Novels for children include: The Dolphin Crossing, Fireweed, Babylon, Hengest's Tale, A Parcel of Patterns, Birdy and the Ghosties, Grace, Thomas and the Tinners, The Green Book, Goldengrove, Gaffer Samson's Luck (Smarties Prizewinner 1985) and The Emperor's Winding Sheet (Whitbread Children's Prizewinner 1974).
Knowledge of Angels, a medieval philosophical novel, was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize. Other adult novels include Lapsing (about Catholic university students), A School for Lovers (a reworking of the plot of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte) The Serpentine Cave (based on a lifeboat disaster in St Ives) and A Desert in Bohemia which follows a group of characters in England and in an imaginary Eastern European country through the years between World War II and 1989.
She authored four detective stories featuring part-time college nurse Imogen Quy, based in fictional St. Agatha's College, University of Cambridge: The Wyndham Case (1993), A Piece of Justice (1995), Debts of Dishonour (2006) and The Bad Quarto (2007).
Lord Peter Wimsey
In 1998 won acclaim for her completion of Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey - Harriet Vane novel, Thrones, Dominations and later published another Lord Peter novel, A Presumption of Death in 2002. A new one is coming out in September 2010 called The Attenbury Emeralds published by Hodder & Stoughton.
In 1996, Jill Paton Walsh received the CBE for services to literature and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
In an essay on realism in children's literature, Walsh stated that realism (like fantasy) is also metaphorical, and that she would like the relationship between the reader and her characters Bill and Judie to be as metaphorical as that between "dragons and the reader's greed or courage".
In 1961, she married Antony Paton Walsh, now deceased; they had one son and two daughters. In 2004, she married John Rowe Townsend.
Jill Paton Walsh's brother is Professor Christopher John Emile Bliss, PhD, FBA. He was Nuffield Professor of International Economics at Oxford University from 1992-2007. He was a Fellow of Nuffield College from 1977-2007.