My Itinerary ({: itinerary.length :})

{: event.badge :}

{: event.title :}

{: event.dates :} {: event.dateDescription :}
{: item :}
Suitable for {: item :}
1001 Stories Collection

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

1001 The Wolvesof Willoughby Chase
Added on 06th August 2020

Author Joan Aiken
First published 1962
Publisher Jonathan Cape

Wild wolves roaming the countryside, a wicked governess, lost parents and a gang of criminals - Bonnie and Sylvia faces great dangers in this adventure story set in an alternative historical world.


Wicked wolves and a gruesome governess endanger Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia in a period of English history that never happened. When the girls are sent away to a ghastly orphanage, it seems they will need all their brainpower and the help of Simon the gooseboy to survive.

Why we chose it

In an alternative Britain where wolves roam in a wintery landscape this is a thrilling adventure story set in a historical fantasy world.

Where it came from

Characters and ideas from the books that were her own childhood favourites were the seeds that grew into Joan Aiken’s first full-length novel. She decided to make everything larger-than-life to increase the drama and comedy, and the alternate history gave her the chance to invent a different reality.

Where it went next

The Wolves Chronicles have been in print since they were first published and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase won the Lewis Carroll prize. It was made into a 1989 film adaptation (although the ending is considerably changed). There have been two stage adaptations of the book, one in 2009 and the other in 2015.

Associated stories

Joan Aiken wrote over one hundred books in her lifetime. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is the first in the series of The Wolves Chronicles. There are twelve books in total, including Black Hearts in Battersea. Although there is a story that connects all of the books, they can be read separately.

Added on 06th August 2020

Author Joan Aiken
First published 1962
Publisher Jonathan Cape