Meet Mortimer – Riotous Raven of Rumbury Town…!


It was a dark and stormy night (of course!) when Mortimer entered the life of Arabel and the Jones family – and Rumbury Town N.W.3 and-a-half would never be the same again.  Arabel’s Raven is the first of the many tales of his adventures told by Joan Aiken and masterfully characterised by Quentin Blake’s illustrations.  The devoted pair appeared on a series of Jackanory readings, and then in books and a puppet series for the BBC which earned them a following of fans of all ages.

It was love at first sight for the pair Joan Aiken described as her version of the relationship between the ego and the id:


Before too long chaos reigns in Rumbury Town, and Mortimer (through no fault of his own of course!) is in the thick of it:


Amazingly he does, with the evil squirrel strapped to his back, and is soon holed up in the gangsters’ hideout – while Arabel goes into a decline wondering where he can be?  Everyone is on their trail…  and now strange things are happening at Rumbury Tube station, but no one can solve the mystery….ReporterReporter1Reporter2Pretty soon everyone is going round the bend, and it is up to Arabel to keep her wits about her and unravel the hilarious trail of chaos that leads her back to Mortimer…will she be parted from him again?  “Nevermore!” says Mortimer.


Read more about Arabel & Mortimer and the BBC Puppet Series

on the Joan Aiken Website

NEW EDITIONS of the first stories OUT NOW from

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books


4 thoughts on “Meet Mortimer – Riotous Raven of Rumbury Town…!

  1. This sounds a perfect introduction to M and A, especially for one like me who has yet to fully delve into their adventures. Good too to see Mortimer gets a full page Quentin Blake illustration in the Oxford Companion to Fairytales. And of course, as I understand, a certain Lizza Aiken gets involved in the storytelling as the series progresses…

  2. Hooray for Mortimer – I didn’t know about his pic! And yes it’s true… I couldn’t resist a little arm twisting – I had children of just the right age causing family chaos themselves, so it was a gift, and being involved with the puppets too- brilliant!

  3. What lucky children they must have been! I loved reading about Mortimer when I was small, though I remember being rather traumatised when he was forcibly washed.

  4. His indignation is so well expressed, and the awful affront. I quoted it in the Spring Cleaning blog – see picture above, and the name of the story said it all – Mortimer’s Cross!

Leave a Comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s