CHILDREN'S author Jill Murphy has died after a cancer battle aged 72.
Murphy, who famously wrote The Worst Witch books, passed away in Cornwall with her son Charlie and niece Isabelle at her side.
Who was Jill Murphy?
Jill Murphy was a British author and illustrator of children's books.
The London-born enjoyed writing from an early age – at six she began making her own library of hand-written and illustrated books.
Jill lived in St Mabyn, Cornwall until her death.
How did The Worst Witch author die?
Jill died of breast cancer on Wednesday, according to her publisher.
Her son Charlie and niece Isabelle were at her side in hospital in Cornwall.
In a statement, her son Charlie said: "I feel beyond lucky to have had a mum like mine, and it's impossible to summarise the ways her absence will be felt.
"She had a depth of character, a warmth and a life force like no other. I miss her so much already."
Pamela Todd, Jill’s friend and agent of over thirty years, said: "It’s a sad day for children’s books.
"Jill was so creative, beautiful and funny. Her genius lay in the way both the child and the adult could identify with her stories, which she wrote and illustrated herself.
"This is a great loss, not least to me personally, but we are comforted that she leaves an amazing legacy of books for generations to come."
Was Jill Murphy married and did she have children?
Her marriage to potter Roger Michell ended in divorce.
Jill gave birth to her son Charlie in spring 1990.
What books did Jill Murphy write?
She is best known for the Worst Witch novels and the Large Family picture books.
Jill began to write The Worst Witch while still at school, but put the book on hold while she attended Chelsea and Croydon Art Schools.
When she first started offering her book to publishers she was told – as she recalls – "Children would be frightened about a school for witches".
The book finally got accepted by the publisher, Allison and Busby where they print 5,000 copies – it sold out within two months of publication.
Since The Worst Witch was published, Jill has also produced picture books including The Large Family, Five Minutes Peace, The Last Noo-Noo, and Dear Hound.
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