Raymond Briggs: The Snowman and When The Wind Blows author has died, tributes paid, where did Raymond Briggs live

Raymond Briggs, the author and illustrator best known for the beloved 1978 Christmas classic The Snowman as well as Cold War disaster book When the Wind Blows, has died aged 88. Here’s everything we know.

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88.

Read More
Raymond Briggs: Snowman author and illustrator dies aged 88
Hide Ad

His family said in a statement through his publisher Penguin Random House that Briggs died on Tuesday morning.

Hide Ad

What did Raymond Briggs write?

Although best known for The Snowman, which has since sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world, Briggs also created the beloved children’s books Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogeyman and When the Wind Blows.

Hide Ad

An animated version of The Snowman made for Channel 4 in 1982 has become a festive staple and has been shown every Christmas since.

Born in Wimbledon in 1934, Briggs studied at the Wimbledon School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art before briefly pursuing painting.

Hide Ad
Beloved author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best-known for the 1978 children’s picture book The Snowman, has died aged 88. Images: PA

After becoming a professional illustrator, he worked and taught illustration at the Brighton College of Art.

Hide Ad

In 1966 he won the Kate Greenaway medal for his illustration work on a book of nursery rhymes, The Mother Goose Treasury.

His best-known works were published between 1973 and 1984 and also included Father Christmas Goes On Holiday and The Tin-Pot Foreign General And The Old Iron Woman.

Hide Ad

His won numerous prizes across his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, The Children’s Book of the Year, the Dutch Silver Pen Award.

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said.
Hide Ad

In February 2017, Raymond was honoured with the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award and the trust responded to news of his death by tweeting: “He will live on in his stunning, iconic books.”

He was made a CBE for services to literature in the same year.

Hide Ad

What is When the Wind Blows?

When the Wind Blows is a graphic novel written by Raymond Briggs and released in 1982.

Hide Ad
Raymond Briggs posing for media in a designer deckchair in Hyde Park, London. Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said.

The comic shows a nuclear attack on the UK from the perspective of a retired couple, Jim and Hilda Bloggs.

Hide Ad

It was adapted into a popular animated film of the same name featuring the voices of John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft.

Briggs was critical of public information pamphlets about nuclear attacks and the poor preparation they offered for war. Several of the pamphlets appear in the comic.

Hide Ad

What has Raymond Briggs family said?

His family said: “We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news.

Hide Ad

“Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.

“He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.

Hide Ad

“He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends – at get-togethers, fancy dress parties and summer picnics in the garden.

“He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humour – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power.

Hide Ad

“He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure’.”

Briggs is survived by his step-daughter Clare and her husband Fynn; his step-son Tom and his wife Sarah, and his three step-grandchildren.

Hide Ad

Tributes paid to The Snowman author Raymond Briggs

Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “Raymond’s books are picture masterpieces that address some of the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, speaking to both adults and children with a remarkable economy of words and illustrations.

Hide Ad

“Raymond is probably best known for The Snowman. He needed greater freedom perhaps than the standard 32-page picture book format allowed and created a radical and beautiful innovation: a wordless picture book for children, a storyboard of stills that became an instant classic in its own right, as well as the much-loved animation.”

Ms Dow said Briggs had been “unique” and had “inspired generations of creators of picture books, graphic novels, and animations”.

Hide Ad

She added: “He leaves an extraordinary legacy, and a big hole.”

Briggs’ literary agent, Hilary Delamere, added: “Raymond liked to act the professional curmudgeon, but we will remember him for his stories of love and of loss.

Hide Ad

“I know from the many letters he received how his books and animations touched people’s hearts.”

TV gardener Monty Don tweeted: “Thank you Raymond Briggs for a life’s work magnificently celebrating the rich seam of very English pessimism. You enriched so many of our lives.”

Hide Ad

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner added: “Raymond Briggs brought so much magic and joy to so many.

“Rest in peace. And thank you for the memories.”

Hide Ad

Responding to the death of Raymond Briggs, How To Train Your Dragon author and former Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell tweeted: “Deeply sad to hear of the death of Raymond Briggs.

“What a magnificent legacy he leaves, from his iconic Father Christmas and the Snowman to the terrifying Where The Wind Blows. His books brought so much joy and inspired so many, touching, hilarious and heartbreaking work. RIP.”

Hide Ad

Author Michael Rosen has paid tribute to the “fantastic” Raymond Briggs, who has died aged 88.

He tweeted: “Raymond Briggs… RIP xxxx.

Hide Ad

“You are fantastic…”

British author Lara Maiklem has called Raymond Briggs “a genius” following his death at the age of 88.

Hide Ad

Maiklem, who has worked with Briggs, tweeted alongside a picture of his illustration of Fungus the Bogeyman: “So sad to hear about Raymond Briggs this morning.

“A huge fan since I was a child, I had the great fortune of working with him a few years ago.

Hide Ad

“Grumpy and difficult, he was nonetheless a genius.

“Nothing is permanent but woe.”

Hide Ad

Where did Raymond Briggs live?

Hide Ad

From the window, the author and illustrator had a landscape view 26 miles across the Sussex Weald.

It was a view which inspired his most famous works including The Snowman which was written at Westmeston.

Hide Ad

Additional reporting by PA

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.