Female. Education: Degree in history of art.
Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Pollinger Ltd., 9 Staple Inn, Holborn, London WC1V 7QH, England.
Writer, dancer, actor, educator. Former teacher of dance and acting in London, England, schools. National Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Tate St. Ives, and the Wallace Collection, London museums, freelance storyteller and lecturer for school children and the disabled, and creator of CD-audio description disks.
Step into the Dark (novel), Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2002.
Feast of Fools (novel), Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Imagination in Art (reader), Zero to Ten (London, England), 2003.
Stories in Art (reader), Zero to Ten (London, England), 2003.
Animals in Art (reader), Zero to Ten (London, England), 2003.
Ship's Angel (novel), Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2005.
Harriet's Ghost (novel), Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2006.
A former dancer and actor, British writer Bridget Crowley is best known in the United States for her children's books, including Step into the Dark and Feast of Fools, the latter of which was her first American publication. Crowley's theater experience comes to the fore in Step into the Dark, a ghost story set in a renovated theater. Beetle, the young male protagonist of the novel, likes to help out at the theater and thinks he has seen the ghost of a young girl in white. Crowley links this tale to a subplot about one of the actors in the company, a young Kurdish girl who is threatened by right-wing gang members. Writing in Booklist, Jennifer Mattson noted that "Crowley excels at evoking creepy atmosphere and suspense." However, Mattson also felt the author had difficulty tying her twin plot lines together.
With Feast of Fools, Crowley takes readers back to thirteenth-century England. John, son of a stonecutter, is injured in a building accident in which his father is killed. Thereafter, he joins the church's choir and finds himself investigating a double murder for which Jews have been blamed. Mattson, again writing in Booklist, felt John's "labyrinthine search for truth sweeps one along," but also complained of "heavy-handed" writing that "smack[s] of an agenda." Further negative comments came from a Kirkus Reviews critic, who found the work "ungainly and badly paced." A more positive assessment was provided by School Library Journal contributor Karen T. Bilton, who felt that "Crowley has a knack for creating a convincing medieval atmosphere." Bilton also praised the author's "fine character development," especially that of her protagonist, a "likable, sympathetic hero." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "Crowley uses historically inspired events to paint a stark picture of the perils of prejudice."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2003, Jennifer Mattson, review of Feast of Fools, p. 606; December 1, 2003, Jennifer Mattson, review of Step into the Dark, p. 664.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2003, review of Feast of Fools, p. 1222.
Publishers Weekly, December 1, 2003, review of Feast of Fools, p. 57.
School Library Journal, February, 2004, Karen T. Bilton, review of Feast of Fools, p. 142.
Hodder Headline Web site,http://www.hodderheadline.co.uk/ (May 11, 2006), brief biography of author.
Pollinger Limited Web site,http://www.pollingerltd.com/ (May 11, 2006), author profile.