James Brian Jacques was an English writer best known for hisRedwall series of novels and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series.
Brian Jacques short biography
Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on 15 June 1939.
His father loved literature and read his boy adventure stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Jacques showed early writing talent. At age 10, assigned to write an animal story, he wrote about a bird that cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. His teacher could not believe that a 10-year-old wrote it, and caned the boy for refusing to admit copying the story.[He had always loved to write, but only then did he realize the extent of his abilities.
He attended St. John’s school until age 15, when he left school (as was usual at the time) and set out to find adventure as a merchant sailor.
At a very young age, his wrote his book “Red wall” which was dedicated to special children. This was what brought him close to children and he began to spend time with them. His story was written in a dramatic manner so the children could identify with the action in the story. His work was brought into notice when his friend, Alan Durband showcased his work to a publisher. This eventually led him to sign a contract to write the next five books in the series.
Jacques was of the view that the characters he displayed in his stories had some relation with his past life. His ensemble cast of characters included anthropomorphic animals. Besides, some of them were those whom he met during his travelling. His books have gained a cult status by selling twenty million copies and also been translated in twenty eight languages. Other than that, he also hosted a radio show which stayed for almost 30 years. Often he was compared with his contemporary, J. K. Rowling and her famous Harry Potter series but he brushed it off saying that he hated to be labelled as a ‘fantasy writer’. This made his books devoid of the feeling which he wanted to reach out to his readers. The Liverpool Fishermen, founded by him and his brothers was formed in the 1960’s that became eminent in the local pubs. They also released an album that became an instant hit. Some of his short stories and poems were published in 1971 by the Anvil Press. In 1981, his career took another level when he achieved considerable success as a playwright. Fortunately, this gave his play a golden chance to perform at the theatre. He was also a merchant sea man.
In June 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Liverpool.
He lived with his wife, Maureen, in Liverpool. Jacques and his wife had two sons, now adults, David and Marc, and grandchildren Hannah and Anthony. Marc is a joiner and bricklayer. David is a muralist and professor of art. Jacques was admitted to the Royal Liverpool Hospital to undergo emergency surgery for an aortic aneurysm. Despite the efforts to save him, he died from a heart attack on 5 February 2011.