Redwall author Brian Jacques dies aged 71

Brian Jacques Brian Jacques was a merchant seaman

A former merchant sailor whose children's books sold millions worldwide has died aged 71.

Brian Jacques' Redwall series of books were translated into 29 languages and sold 20m globally.

He first wrote the series, set in an abbey populated by animals, for children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool.

The Liverpool-born writer's weekly show, Jakestown, ran on BBC Radio Merseyside for more than 20 years.

He died after a heart attack at the weekend and leaves a wife and two grown up sons.

Literary talent

Mr Jacques grew up near to the docks in Liverpool and when he left school at 15, travelled the world as a merchant seaman.

In the sixties, with his two brothers, he formed a folk group called The Liverpool Fishermen.

He wrote 21 novels in the Redwall series, which were also turned into a TV series and an opera.

Some critics compared them to JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings and Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Even as a child he showed literary talent.

He was caned by a teacher who could not believe that a 10-year-old could write so well when he penned a short story about a bird who cleaned a crocodile's teeth.

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