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1001 Stories Collection

Hetty Feather

1001 Hetty Feather
Added on 06th August 2020

Author Jacqueline Wilson
First published 2009
Publisher Doubleday, London

A popular historical story of young girl's search to find the mother who abandoned her.


Hetty Feather is abandoned as a baby by her mother at the Foundling Hospital in London in 1876. To begin with she lives happily with a foster family and enjoys playing with her foster brothers and having adventures like sneaking off to the circus. But, sadly for Hetty, she must return to the Foundling Hospital to be educated and she has a tough time adjusting. Hetty hopes she has figured out who her mother is and sets off to find her, but her real mother may be closer than she thinks.

Why we chose it

When we asked visitors to the museum to tell us their favourite stories Hetty Feather was one of the most frequently mentioned. Hetty has become one of Jacqueline Wilson’s best loved characters.

Where it came from

Jacqueline Wilson has written many books for children, often dealing with tough social themes. While doing some charity work for the Coram Society which began as The Foundling Hospital and is now The Foundling Museum, Wilson was asked if she had ever thought of writing a story about a foundling child – the idea for Hetty Feather was born.

Where it went next

Hetty Feather was adapted for the stage in 2014 and opened at the Rose Theatre in Kingston before going on tour and then transferring to the West End; it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Family and Entertainment Show. A television series based on the book, created by CBBC, first aired in 2015, while The Foundling Museum held an exhibition, Picturing Hetty Feather, in 2017.

Associated stories

There have been 6 stories in the Hetty Feather series so far and another 2 set in the ‘World of Hetty Feather’, (Sapphire Battersea, Emerald Star, Diamond, Little Stars, Clover Moon, Hetty Feather’s Christmas, and Rose Rivers) but Wilson has also written over 100 other books. These include popular titles The Illustrated Mum, Double Act, The Bed and Breakfast Star, Vicky Angel, Lola Rose and the very successful Tracy Beaker series.

Added on 06th August 2020

Author Jacqueline Wilson
First published 2009
Publisher Doubleday, London