Henrietta Branford

Henrietta Branford was born in India but grew up in an isolated part of New Forest, Hampshire. She held a variety of jobs before she began writing at age forty, starting with a regular column in a local newspaper and then moving on to children’s fiction. Henrietta grew up as part of a blood-sporting household. She learnt to ride well and her father taught her a great deal about animals. Although Henrietta later found the idea of blood sports unpleasant, she drew upon her experiences to write “Fire, Bed and Bone”, which is narrated by an old hunting dog. Henrietta died in April 1999. To commemorate her life (in addition to that of editor and Walker Books’ founding member Wendy Boase, who also died the same year), an award was established – the Branford Boase Award – to annually celebrate an outstanding children’s novel by a first-time author and his/her editor. Henrietta wrote many award-winning books for children, including “Fire, Bed and Bone” which won the 1998 Guardian Fiction Prize, was Highly Commended for the 1998 Carnegie Medal, and was a Bronze Medal Winner in the 1997 Nestle Children’s Book Prize.