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Leon Garfield (14 July 1921, Brighton, Sussex, England – 2 June 1996) was a British writer of fiction. He is best known for his historical novels for children, though he also wrote for adults. He wrote more than thirty books, and scripted Shakespeare: The Animated Tales for television.
In his youth Garfield studied art, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He joined the British Army Medical Corps. While posted in Belgium he met Vivien Alcock, then an ambulance driver, who would go on to become his wife and a well-known children's author. After the war Garfield worked as a biochemical laboratory technician in a London hospital, writing in his spare time until the 1960s, when he was successful enough to write full time.
His first book, the children's pirate novel Jack Holborn, was published in 1964. Jack Holborn was made into a German Christmas mini-series by ZDF. His second, Devil-in-the-Fog (1966), won the first ever Guardian Award and was serialised for television, as were several of his other books, for example The sachets, produced as a 6 part serial by the BBC in 1978. Black Jack (1968) was made into a feature film by Ken Loach. In 1970 The God Beneath the Sea, a re-telling of Greek myths co-written by Garfield and Edward Blishen and illustrated by Charles Keeping, won the Carnegie Medal for children's literature. Garfield's John Diamond won the Whitbread Award for best children's book in 1980, and Smith won the Phoenix Award for children's literature in 1987, He also wrote "The Wedding Ghost", which was again illustrated by Charles Keeping.