Cart and Cwidder: Book 1 of The Dalemark Quartet

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9780066237459: Cart and Cwidder: Book 1 of The Dalemark Quartet

The first three volumes of Diana Wynne Jones's spellbinding quartet of novels were originally published in this country in the 1970s, and soon won the mythical kingdom of Dalemark a place on the literary map.

Cart and Cwidder, the first of these intriguing novels, relates the fortunes of Clennen and his family, itinerant musicians who travel the villages of Dalemark in their colorful cart. With warring earldoms and spies everywhere, there is little contact between the North and South of the country, and so the musicians often carry news-and sometimes, as now, a passenger. Who is this Kialan? Is there any connection between him and the sudden violence that overtakes them? The family's fate and Kialan's are bound together in terror and flight-and in music, for the songs of Dalemark mean more than they say.

Each book is a lure to the next in this classic, irresistible series.

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About the Author:

Diana Wynne Jones was raised in the village of Thaxted, in Essex, England. She has been a compulsive storyteller for as long as she can remember enjoying most ardently those tales dealing with witches, hobgoblins, and the like. Ms. Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor of English at Bristol University. They have three sons and two granddaughters. In Her Own Words...

"I decided to be a writer at the age of eight, but I did not receive any encouragement in this ambition until thirty years later. I think this ambition was fired-or perhaps exacerbated is a better word-by early marginal contacts with the Great, when we were evacuated to the English Lakes during the war. The house we were in had belonged to Ruskin's secretary and had also been the home of the children in the books of Arthur Ransome. One day, finding I had no paper to draw on, I stole from the attic a stack of exquisite flower-drawings, almost certainly by Ruskin himself, and proceeded to rub them out. I was punished for this. Soon after, we children offended Arthur Ransome by making a noise on the shore beside his houseboat. He complained. So likewise did Beatrix Potter, who lived nearby. It struck me then that the Great were remarkably touchy and unpleasant (even if, in Ruskin's case, it was posthumous), and I thought I would like to be the same, without the unpleasantness.

"I started writing children's books when we moved to a village in Essex where there were almost no books. The main activities there were hand-weaving, hand-making pottery, and singing madrigals, for none of which I had either taste or talent. So, in intervals between trying to haunt the church and sitting on roofs hoping to learn to fly, I wrote enormous epic adventure stories which I read to my sisters instead of the real books we did not have. This writing was stopped, though, when it was decided I must be coached to go to University. A local philosopher was engaged to teach me Greek and philosophy in exchange for a dollhouse (my family never did things normally), and I eventually got a place at Oxford.

"At this stage, despite attending lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, I did not expect to be writing fantasy. But that was what I started to write when I was married and had children of my own. It was what they liked best. But small children do not allow you the use of your brain. They used to jump on my feet to stop me thinking. And I had not realized how much I needed to teach myself about writing. I took years to learn, and it was not until my youngest child began school that I was able to produce a book which a publisher did not send straight back.

"As soon as my books began to be published, they started coming true. Fantastic things that I thought I had made up keep happening to me. The most spectacular was Drowned Ammet. The first time I went on a boat after writing that book, an island grew up out of the sea and stranded us. This sort of thing, combined with the fact that I have a travel jinx, means that my life is never dull."

Diana Wynne Jones is the author of many highly praised books for young readers, as well as three plays for children and a novel for adults. She lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor of English at Bristol University. They have three sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

Omnibus paperback editions combine two Chrestomanci novels in each volume: Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant make up The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume I; Volume II has The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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