John Rowe Townsend (19 May 1922 – 24 March 2014) was a British kids’s author and kids’s literature scholar. His best-known kids’s novel is The Intruder, which received a 1971 Edgar Award. His best-known educational work is a reference sequence, Written for Children: An Outline of English Children’s Literature (1965), the definitive work of its time on the topic.
It was vastly expanded for the primary revised version as Written for Children: An Outline of English-language Children’s Literature (1974) and up to date for its 2nd to 4th revised editions in 1983, 1987, and 1990 – the final, “A survey of imaginative writing, together with poetry and film books, accompanied by a bibliography of works on kids’s literature and illustrations from most of the classics of kids’s literature by 1989.” (
From 2004 till his demise in 2014 he was married to Jill Paton Walsh.
Also in Britain, Noah’s Castle was filmed by Southern Television, narrated by character Barry Mortimer (Simon Gipps-Kent), and transmitted in seven 25-minute episodes in 1980.
Townsend was born in Leeds and educated at Leeds Grammar School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His in style works embrace Gumble’s Yard, his debut novel printed in 1961; Widdershins Crescent (1965); and The Intruder (1969), which received the 1971 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. In Britain, The Intruder was tailored as a kids’s TV sequence starring Milton Johns because the stranger. He was for a while editor of The Guardian’s weekly worldwide version, and in addition served because the paper’s kids’s books editor.
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