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Jane Langton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Grace Jones Books

The Majesty of Grace / Her Majesty, Grace Jones (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boyhood of Grace Jones (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Hall Family Chronicles Books

The Diamond in the Window (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Swing in the Summerhouse (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Astonishing Stereoscope (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fledgling (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fragile Flag (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Time Bike (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mysterious Circus (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dragon Tree (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Homer Kelly Books

The Transcendental Murder / The Minuteman Murder (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Nantucket Noon (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Memorial Hall Murder (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Natural Enemy (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Emily Dickinson is Dead (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good and Dead (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Gardner (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dante Game (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
God in Concord (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Divine Inspiration (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shortest Day (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead as a Dodo (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Face on the Wall (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Thief of Venice (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at Monticello (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Escher Twist (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deserter (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Steeplechase (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Picture Books

Agatha Christie's Devon (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen's Necklace (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saint Francis and the Wolf (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Travellers in Time: Past, Present, and to Come(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon

An American mystery novelist, the author Jane Langton wrote both adult mystery novels and children’s literature, as well as illustrating it herself too. A creative and imaginative writer, she has made a lot of strong contributions to the field of literature over the course of her writing career. Knowing her audience she has managed to build herself a considerable following, with both critics and the general public alike singing her praises.

A highly versatile author, she had proven herself throughout the years as an adept writer who can both illustrate and write her novels. This has lead to her creating a highly distinctive and idiosyncratic style, one which many have tried to imitate over the years. Establishing a style and tone all of her own, though, she has managed to set herself apart, thus ensuring that her work will be around for many years to come.

She passed in 2018.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1922 on the 30th of December, the author to be Jane Langton was born and raised in Massachusetts in Boston, America. Growing up with a keen interest in both English and art, Langton always had a creative streak, something which she nurtured throughout her childhood. Taking in inspiration from a very early age, she had a strong interest in a number of different pursuits, all of which she would put back into her work.

Educated at the University of Michigan along with Wellesley College, she graduated with a degree in astronomy in 1944. Later attending Radcliffe College she got an M.A. In 1948, as well as an M.A. in art history in 1945 from the University of Michigan once again. After this she studied at the Boston Museum School from 1958 to 1959, all studies that helped her to form the basis of her ideas for much of her career that was to follow.

It was soon after leaving education and academia that she published her first novel, releasing it in 1961. This quickly put her on the path of becoming a writer full-time gaining a worldwide audience fast, with her novels getting successful in a relatively short amount of time. Putting her many experiences back into her work she was able to make her books all her own, building an extensive library of work in the process.

She lived in Lincoln, Massachusetts’s, a location which is near the town of Concord. This is where she has been known to set many of her novels, as it provides the inspiration for a lot of her work. With her husband passing away in 1997 she has three adult children; David, Chris and Andy, and she has a lot more novels to come yet.

Writing Career

It was in 1961 that the author to be Jane Langton finally wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, after finishing her education. Releasing ‘The Majesty of Grace’ she managed to garner attention immediately with her novel of a young girl with grand dreams, set during the depression. Showing a level of depth to her work that was also simultaneously highly accessible to her younger audience, it managed to capture the attention and imagination of her young readers.

Turning to children’s fantasy she would go onto produce the much acclaimed ‘Hall Family Chronicles’ series of novels. Along with this she has also produced franchises for adults with such series as her ‘Homer Kelly’ collection of novels focusing on a philosophy professor at Harvard. Writing a number of stand-alone works as well throughout the years, along with a number of picture books, she has maintained her status as an illustrator as well.

Winning a number of awards as well she is not without critical acclaim either, as her novels have been lauded by both her peers and contemporaries alike. Receiving awards such as the John Newbery Medal and the Nero Award, she has really made an impact on the literary scene. She was also nominated for an Edgar award as well with her book ‘The Face on the Wall’, which helped to further establish her name too.

Being a strong advocate for her craft as well over the years, she has made an enormous contribution to the genre. Not only attracting a national audience, but an international one as well, she has achieved a level of global success unlike any other. Clearly knowing what it is that her many readers want, she has a definite handle on the marketplace, something which only serves to bolster her and her profile.

She has built herself a strong and highly respected legacy over the course of her life and career. Blending fantasy and realism together in one intoxicating mix, her novels continue to entertain and delight both readers young and old alike. With this being something that will continue on into the foreseeable future, her novels are expected to engage readers for generations to come.

The Fledgling

Originally published in 1980 through the ‘Harper and Row’ publishing label, this was set to make-up the fourth title in the ongoing ‘Hall Family Chronicles’ series of novels. Continuing in much the same vein as before it manages to build upon what came in the previous novels in the series. It also manages to produce some interesting twists and turns of its own along the way as well, keeping the reader engaged throughout.

Convinced she can fly, the young Georgie one day realizes that she can jump higher and higher with simple leaps and bound. Floating almost, she soon learns that maybe her dream could become true after all, as she finds that it really is possible for her to fly. Then, when a Canada goose turns up at her window one day, she finds herself climbing onto its back and flying off the learn how she really can fly. Will she become a true flyer and fully realize her dream? Can she learn from the best? What will become of the fledgling?

Natural Enemy

First published in 1982 on the 8th of February, this was to be the fourth title in the ongoing ‘Homer Kelly’ series of novels. Carrying on from the previous title, it was initially released through the ‘Penguin Books’ publishing label to much acclaim. Using much of the same style and tone as to what came before, it manages to develop not just the narrative, but the overall character arc as well.

With yellow jackets completely surrounding him, Edward Heron gasped his last breath following what appeared to be an asthma attack. The problem is, though, that this may not really be the case, as it might just be that something more sinister is afoot in his death. Stepping onto the scene is Homer Kelly, as he enters the New England community in order to get to the bottom of the case. Will he be able to solve it? Was it really murder? Just who is the natural enemy?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jane Langton

One Response to “Jane Langton”

  1. Beverly Krein: 3 years ago

    My brother and I fell in love with The Diamond in the Window and The Swing in the Summerhouse when we were kids. We read them several times. I knew there were at least 3 books in the series, and now I’m grateful not only to know that there are 8 books, but what order they were written in, too. Great imagination! Thank you.


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