Jasper Fforde

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Jasper Fforde
Jasper fforde 2012.jpg
Fforde at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Born (1961-01-11) 11 January 1961 (age 60)
London, England
Genre Alternative history, comic fantasy
Literary movement Postmodern literature

Jasper Fforde (born 11 January 1961) [1] is an English novelist, whose first novel, The Eyre Affair , which appeared in 2001. He is known mainly for his Thursday Next novels, but has published two books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and the first books of two other independent series: The Last Dragonslayer and Shades of Grey . Fforde's books abound in literary allusions and wordplay, tightly scripted plots and playfulness with the conventional, traditional genres. They usually contain elements of metafiction, parody, and fantasy.


Early life

Fforde was born in London on 11 January 1961, the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England. [2] He is a grandson of a Polish political adviser, Joseph Retinger, and a great-grandson of the journalist E. D. Morel. [3]

Fforde was educated at the progressive Dartington Hall School. In his first jobs, he worked as a focus puller in the film industry. He worked on a number of films, including The Trial , Quills , GoldenEye , and Entrapment . [4]


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. [5]

Fforde won the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction in 2004 for The Well of Lost Plots. [6] Several streets in the Thames Reach housing development in Swindon have been named after characters in the series. [7]

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? [8] It was later titled Nursery Crime, which now refers 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.

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.

In November 2010 he produced The Last Dragonslayer , the first novel in a new series. It is a young-adult (YA) fantasy novel about a teenage orphan Jennifer Strange [9] which has now been adapted for television. [10] Two further books have been published in the series, The Song of the Quarkbeast (2011) and The Eye of Zoltar (2014). The series was originally planned as a trilogy., [11] but a fourth book in the series was announced in 2014. [12] The planned release date for the fourth book was originally late 2020 or early 2021. [13]

Short stories

In 2009, Fforde published a story in the Welsh edition of Big Issue magazine (distributed by the homeless) called "We are all alike" (previously "The Man with no Face"). [14] He also published "The Locked Room Mystery mystery" [ sic ] in The Guardian newspaper in 2007; this story remains available online. [15] 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.[ citation needed ]


Fforde Ffiesta

Originating with the Fforde Ffestival in September 2005, [19] 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 over the May bank holiday weekend. [20] People travel from afar to take part in a wide range of events, including a reenactment of the gameshow Name That Fruit, Hamlet Speed Reading competitions, and interactive performances of Richard III .

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Humpty Dumpty Nursery rhyme character

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<i>The Eyre Affair</i>

The Eyre Affair is the debut novel by English author Jasper Fforde, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 2001. It takes place in an alternative 1985, where literary detective Thursday Next pursues a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre. Fforde had received 76 rejections for earlier works before being accepted by a publisher. Critical reception of this novel was generally positive, remarking on its originality.

<i>Lost in a Good Book</i>

Lost in a Good Book is an alternate history fantasy novel by Jasper Fforde. It won the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association 2004 Dilys Award. It is the second in the Thursday Next series.

Shades of gray or shades of grey refers to variations of the color gray.

<i>The Well of Lost Plots</i>

The Well of Lost Plots is a novel by Jasper Fforde, published in 2003. It is the third book in the Thursday Next series, after The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book.

Thursday Next is the protagonist in a series of comic fantasy, alternate history mystery novels by the British author Jasper Fforde. She was first introduced in Fforde's first published novel, The Eyre Affair, released on 19 July 2001 by Hodder & Stoughton. As of 2012, the series comprises seven books, in two series. The first series is made up of the novels The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten. The second series is so far made up of First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing and The Woman Who Died a Lot.

<i>Something Rotten</i> (Fforde)

Something Rotten is the fourth book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. It continues the story some two years after the point where The Well of Lost Plots leaves off.

The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde currently consists of the novels 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.

<i>The Big Over Easy</i>

The Big Over Easy is a novel written by Jasper Fforde and published in 2005. It features Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant, Sergeant Mary Mary.

Temperance Daessee Brennan is a fictional character created by author Kathy Reichs, and is the hero of her crime novel series. She was introduced in Reichs' first novel, Déjà Dead, which was published in 1997. All the novels are written in the first person, from Brennan's viewpoint. Like her creator, Brennan is a forensic anthropologist. In a number of novels it is indicated that Brennan's background lies in physical anthropology, rather than medicine, and throughout the novels she stresses the importance of correct crime scene process.

<i>The Fourth Bear</i>

The Fourth Bear is a mystery/fantasy novel by Jasper Fforde published in July 2006. It is Jasper Fforde's sixth novel, and the second in the Nursery Crimes series. It continues the story of Detective Inspector Jack Spratt from The Big Over Easy.

<i>First Among Sequels</i>

First Among Sequels is an alternate history, comic fantasy novel by the British author Jasper Fforde. It is the fifth Thursday Next novel, first published on 5 July 2007 in the United Kingdom, and on 24 July 2007 in the United States. The novel follows the continuing adventures of Thursday Next in her fictional version of Swindon and in the BookWorld, and is the first of a new four-part Nextian series.

John Reginald "Jack" Spratt, Detective Inspector, Nursery Crime Division, Oxford and Berkshire Constabulary, Officer Number 8216. Jack Spratt is the protagonist in a series of alternate history science fiction fantasy novels by Jasper Fforde. He was named after the character from the English nursery rhyme. As revealed in The Big Over Easy, for example, he hates eating fat, and was once married to a woman who ate nothing else.

SpecOps is a fictional overarching British governmental force in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series of novels. It was established in 1928 to handle policing duties "too unusual or too specialized" to be handled by the regular police. The force and divisions are similar in name to the real world Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police Service. When introduced in The Eyre Affair, the divisions are described as "Below the Eight, Above the Law".

<i>One of Our Thursdays is Missing</i>

One of our Thursdays is Missing is the sixth Thursday Next book, by the British author Jasper Fforde. It was published in February 2011 in the United Kingdom and was published in March in the United States. The title is a reference to the 1942 war film One of Our Aircraft Is Missing.

<i>Shades of Grey</i>

Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron is a dystopian novel, the first in the Shades of Grey series by novelist Jasper Fforde. The story takes place in Chromatacia, an alternative version of the United Kingdom wherein social class is determined by one's ability to perceive colour.

<i>Humpty Dumpty</i> (magazine)

Humpty Dumpty is a bimonthly American magazine for children 2 to 6 years old that takes its title from the nursery rhyme of the same name. The magazine features short stories, poems, nonfiction articles, games, comics, recipes, crafts, and more. Having been continuously produced for more than 65 years, it is one of the oldest American magazines for kids.

<i>The Last Dragonslayer</i>

The Last Dragonslayer is a young adult fantasy novel by Jasper Fforde. It is set in an alternate world in which magic is real, but has become weakened and is also being replaced by modern technology. The setting is almost like modern Britain, except that it is split into a number of small states. Those states reference modern-day geography.

<i>The Woman Who Died a Lot</i>

The Woman Who Died A Lot is the seventh Thursday Next book, by the British author Jasper Fforde. It was published in July 2012; set in an alternative world where love of novels and plays is at the heart of modern society, it takes place in a fictional version of Swindon.


  1. "UPI Almanac for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020". United Press International . 11 January 2020. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020. …author Jasper Fforde in 1961 (age 59)
  2. Corbett, Sue (11 October 2012). "Q & A with Jasper Fforde". Publishers Weekly . Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. "Ten Things You Never Knew About Jasper". Jasper Fforde official website. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  4. Jasper Fforde at IMDb
  5. John Sutherland (26 July 2003). "If it's Thursday it must be the valley of death". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  6. John Ezard (31 May 2004). "Lost Plots gains a prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  7. Thames Reach Housing Development or the Nextian Neighbourhood, JasperFforde.com, retrieved 1 December 2017
  8. Peter Guttridge (19 June 2005). "Back off or Humpty Dumpty gets it". The Observer. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  9. "The Last Dragonslayer". Jasper Fforde.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  10. "The Last Dragonslayer (2016 TV Movie)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  11. "Dragonslayer page" . Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  12. "The Great Troll Wars". Jasper Fforde. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  13. "Next Book". Jasper FForde. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  14. Jasper Fforde's website. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Guardian website. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/dec/24/extract.originalwriting
  16. The Great Troll War. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  17. Early Riser. 25 April 2019.
  18. The Constant Rabbit. 2 January 2020.
  19. "A Brief History of the Fforde Ffiesta". Fforde Fiesta. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  20. "Swindon is centre-stage once again in author's new book". BBC - Wiltshire. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2020.