Farewell to Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques

This week, I am going to switch Fantasy Friday and Writing Wednesday due to the heartbreaking news I received this morning. On February 5, Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall series, passed away from a heart attack.

His death touches me deeply, as it was Mr. Jacques who inspired my love for reading in elementary school. I have been reading for almost as long as I could talk, but it was the discovery of his books in third grade that really ignited my passion for literature and writing.

Now, I know that Mr. Jacques himself did not like Redwall to be labeled as “fantasy.” According to him, “It smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons, and this is not at all the feeling of my books. I like to think of [them] as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘once upon a time, long ago and far away’; in fact, good yarns is how I describe them.”

And rollicking good yarns they were, though my definition of fantasy is a bit broader than that. Although there was no magic in his plots, his stories touched me with the magic of falling in love with a new world and one of the most lovable casts of characters I’ve ever known.

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to one of my earliest inspirations. His passing is truly a loss to children’s literature, though his legacy is sure to inspire new generations of readers.

One of my favorite things about the Redwall series was that warm, homey glow I got when I would read the last few sentences of the epilogue. As Mr. Jacques would always say, “Remember that the gates of Redwall are always open to friendly strangers passing by.”

I hope you found your welcome there, sir.

 

We salute you, Mr. Jacques

8 thoughts on “Farewell to Brian Jacques”

  1. Nice blog and good post…
    Keep blogging.. 🙂
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  2. Wow… Redwall was one of my favorite series growing up. Hard to believe that he’s gone. Rest in peace, Mr. Jacques.

    Isn’t it amazing how art creates connections between people, even if they never meet face to face?

    1. Exactly, Jeffrey. It’s that connection that is true beauty, and it’s exactly why I feel inspired to create. In a world plagued by darkness, I feel that my small way to fight back and bring some light is to write and create that connection for other people, as well.

      Thanks to people like Brian Jacques, we’re in good company, and we’ve got some great mentors who’ve shown us how to do just that.

  3. I had no idea that Brian Jacques didn’t like to label Redwall as Fantasy! That’s an interesting tidbit to pick up, so thanks for sharing.

    I love the ending of your post. “Warm, homey glow” is right. Jacques is the only author I’ve ever read who always made me feel like I was simultaneously fighting battles alongside hares and otters and sitting beside a warm fire, listening to a tale like a Dibbun.

    Well done.

  4. I started reading Redwall in third grade as well — it’s sad that he’s passed, but the lovely thing about books is that they’re around for people to indulge in far after the author is gone. He managed to leave a significant mark, I think, considering how many people read his series and how much of the series there really is. My goal was to read every single one of them, but unfortunately I fell short.

    Good books, good man.

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