Howl's Moving Castle Background

Howl's Moving Castle Background

Howl's Moving Castle is a children's fantasy novel written in 1986 by renowned English fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones. It tells the story of the return of the evil Witch of the Waste after fifty years of dormancy, and her threatening behavior towards the King's son, Prince Justin, and his infant daughter. In the imaginary land of Market Chipping, a mystical town on the England-Wales border, magic and modern reality also border as the Witch's adversary, Wizard Howl (formerly Welsh rugby-playing, witchcraft major Hywell Jenkins) tries to search for the missing Wizard Suliman and Prince Justin and Jill the Witch once and for all. With the unlikely help of young Sophie Hatter, cursed by the Witch and turned into a creaky old lady, Howl uses his considerable magical powers for good and frees the land of the Witch and her demon for good.

As well as being a book about magic and the eternal struggle Betsy good and evil, this novel also speaks to its young adult readers about romance and dating (Howl is an undesirable boyfriend because he is fickle) and also about the power of family.

Diana Wynne Jones was born and raised in the English village of Thaxted, Essex, a village with a long history of Paganism through the Middle Ages, and homes that inspired the buildings described in the novel.For as long as she can remember she has been passionate about telling stories, especially those filled with magic, and witches, faeries and hobgoblins. This particular novel was inspired by a young boy called Stephen whom she met at a reading event; he asked her to write a story about a castle that moved, and Howl's Moving Castle is the result.

Wynne Jones has written many fantasy novels for children including Fire and Hemlock: Archer's Goo which was named Best Book for Young adults by the American Literary Association and several other novels that received an ALA honorable mention. She has also written three plays for children and a novel for adults.

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