R.I.P. Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear · Newswire · The A.V. Membership

Michael Bond, the English kids’s ebook writer who created Paddington Bear, the genial marmalade aficionado from deepest, darkest Peru, has died. Launched in 1958 with the kids’s novel A Bear Known as Paddington, the duffel-coat-wearing ursine went on to seem in 21 bestselling and broadly translated books written by Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and, later, R.W. Alley; star in three animated sequence and a very enjoyable live-action film; and turn out to be a world icon of kids’s literature. In accordance with the BBC, Bond’s dying was introduced in an announcement from his writer. He was 91.

The son of a postmaster, Bond was raised in Studying, Berkshire and got here of age amidst the bombings, evacuations, and Kindertransport refugee trains of World Battle II. These would later be cited by Bond as a key inspiration for Paddington Bear, an orphan who’s taken in by the human Brown household after being discovered at London’s Paddington practice station, and for his good friend Mr. Gruber, an antiques store proprietor whose origins as a Jewish refugee are hinted at within the books. The latter was additionally partly based mostly on Bond’s good friend and literary agent, Harvey Unna, who got here to England after fleeing Nazi Germany. (That connection is made extra explicitly within the 2014 movie Paddington.)

After surviving a German bombing raid that killed greater than 40 individuals in the identical constructing, the teenage Bond left his job as an assistant on the BBC to enlist, first with the RAF after which, after a medical discharge as a result of a recurring drawback with movement illness, with the British Military. In 1947, he returned to the BBC, the place he labored as a cameraman for the nationwide broadcaster’s newly re-opened tv community. Bond, who offered his first quick story as a 19-year-old stationed with the British Military in Cairo, continued writing and publishing quick fiction throughout his time on the BBC. The prospect buy of a teddy bear close to the Paddington station on Christmas Eve in 1956—mixed with reminiscences of wartime Britain and of his personal mild-mannered, obsessively well mannered father—led Bond to put in writing A Bear Known as Paddington. Nevertheless, he continued at his day job till 1965, by which level he had revealed half a dozen profitable kids’s novels about Paddington Bear, suffused with a wry humorousness and values of kindness and hospitality.

Along with the Paddington books—which spawned a number of in style variations and a profitable merchandising enterprise—Bond additionally wrote culinary-themed comedian thriller novels (impressed by his personal curiosity in French cooking) and a sequence of kids’s books concerning the guinea pig Olga Da Polga. Peggy Fortnum, who illustrated most of Bond’s Paddington novels, died final 12 months on the age of 96. Bond himself remained productive till the top of his life; his most up-to-date ebook, Paddington’s Best Hour, was revealed this spring. A second live-action Paddington movie will hit US theaters in early 2018.

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