Monday, 1 August 2011

Dido Twite and Simon Battersea

...And in the meantime:

Young Dido Twite, cockney street-sparrow-turned-repeated-saviour-of-the-English-monarchy and her friend Simon Battersea, one-time-long-lost-heir-to-the-Duchy-of-Battersea and briefly king of England.

As far as I'm concerned Joan Aiken's Wolves Of Willoughby Chase and its sequels are some of the great childrens' books. Despite the 'classic' status of the former, the books get no where near enough attention (not least on DA). Dido is the hero of the bulk of the series and Simon, star of Black Hearts in Battersea, recurrs as well. I love their friendship and loyalty to one another. There's a bare hint of romance towards the end of the series but mostly Aiken never seems to feel the need to examine their relationship. They meet in youth (Dido's nine, Simon's a teenager) and grow up an undisclosed amount in the book

I've drawn them both as young adults, so some time after the end of the series, and tried to depict an interaction that could be romantic or not. I based it on a photo by Venetia Dearden. Dido seems to have grown her hair but it doesn't look as if she ever brushes it, the perennial urchin. I had trouble with her wolfskin jacket: she looks like a biker. I'm more pleased with Simon's Regency coat... except in the Wolves alternate history, there is no Regency of course... buh.

I should also add that , for extra London authenticity, the brown paper it's painted/collaged onto is a paper bag from the last time I had fish and chips.

Inspired particularly by finding actual (and brilliant) Joan Aiken fanfic


  1. This is AMAZING. I love the Wolves Chronicles series to death and your picture is pure genius. Dido looks a bit punk rock, which is what I always suspected anyway! :)

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, Dido is the coolest.