matthias, my first love. remembering redwall.

redwall, brian jacques, badger illustration, redwall character, the great redwall feast

“Brian Jacques, author of Redwall (1987) and some 20 sequels, died at the age of 71 on Sat., Feb. 5, 2011. His books have sold in the tens of millions and have touched adventure-loving kids all over the world. His formula—a quasi-medieval fantasy setting in which peace-loving mice and other small animals seek adventure and fend off endless attacks by evil foxes, rats and weasels—grabbed generations of readers. I have known many of them.” – kirkus reviews

i was one of them.

as a child, my love for these books was impassioned and fierce. i was that kid with fingers glued to the covers of an adventurous tale, and i possessed the astounding ability to plow through a thousand pages in just one summer day. i read in the shade of trees, i read sprawled out on pillow-laden floors, i read in bathrooms {both public and personal}. as the leaves began to fall and attention towards my educators dwindled, my obsession with these fantastic stories abounded.

animal species, sizing chart, redwall, brian jacques, badger illustration, redwall character, the great red wall feast, otter, hare, cluny the scourge, jacques characters

“Hailed as one of “the best children’s authors in the world,” Jacques’ 21 Redwall books were translated into 29 languages and sold 20 million copies worldwide. His novels — despite centering on anthropomorphic woodland critters, such as mice, otters, moles, and squirrels — told epic tales of good triumphing over evil and never spoke down to their young audiences. When I was nine years old I finished Martin the Warrior, the third installment of the series, and remained in a daze for an entire afternoon.” – entertainment weekly

redwall, brian jacques, badger illustration, redwall character, the great redwall feast

i cannot speak more highly of the redwall series, and jacques’ charming and equally duplicitous characters.

cluny the scourge, redwall character, evil rat, villain, cluny, brian jacques, treacherous villain, big rat, dangerous, beautiful illustration

{illustrations linked to original sources.
isn’t “cluny the scourge” magnificent?}

why all the reminiscing?
the late author and his engrossing stories came to mind recently,
when i stumbled upon this very fascinating news story:

20140123-153048.jpgthis article in all of it’s whimsical glory is completely true. it highlights the story of a ship, the lyubov orlova, destined for the dominican republic “where it was to be sold as scrap.” instead, the fourteen hundred ton ocean liner was set free by the canadian government after it was lost during a storm. i suppose the value of the ship wasn’t quite worth the efforts involved in tracking it down, and bringing it back to canada. that, or perhaps the disease-infested, cannibalistic rat crew was dissuading enough. either way, this incredibly large vessel is now completely lost. it was last tracked seven hundred miles off the coast of ireland, and could possibly be making it’s sinister way to the uk.

for any of my united kingdom followers, this is your golden opportunity! as far as anyone can tell, the first person to climb aboard can stake their claim to the ghostly ship! and if one of you does, please don’t forget to invite me on board.

i would derive great pleasure from taking part in my very own jacques-inspired adventure.

 

 

 

brian jacque, fantasy writer, redwall abbey, woodland creatures

{june 15, 1939 – february 5, 2011}

thank you for every captivating sentence, for writing many of my heroes into existence,
and for making grand adventures seem so obtainable to me when i was still quite small.

thank you

 

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