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Jane Gillson Langton Edit Profile

illustrator , writer

Jane Gillson Langton is an American writer and author of children's literature and mystery novels.


Langton, Jane Gillson was born on December 30, 1922 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Daughter of Joseph Lincoln and Grace Irene (Brown) Gillson.


She studied astronomy at Wellesley College and the University of Michigan, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1944. She studied at the Boston Museum School from 1958 to 1959.


She both writes and illustrates her novels. She received an M.A. in art history from the University of Michigan in 1945, and another M.A. from Radcliffe College in 1948. In 1961 Langton wrote and illustrated her first book for children, The Majesty of Grace, a story about a young girl during the Depression who is certain she will some day be Queen of England.

Langton has since written a children's series, The Hall Family Chronicles, and the Homer Kelly murder mystery novels. She has also written several stand-alone novels and picture books. Langton's novel The Fledgling is a Newbery Honor book.

The Face on the Wall was an editors' choice selection by The Drood Review of Mystery for 1998. Langton lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, near the town of Concord, the setting of many of her novels. Her husband, Bill, died in 1997.

Langton has three adult sons: Chris, David and Andy. "Jane Langton is a master blender. She mixes Indian magic, the transcendental philosophies of Emerson and Thoreau, and the plain everyday life of Concord, Mass., and comes up with a splendid fantasy."—Boston Globe"Always a witty and literate writer."—Chicago Tribune.


  • Her novel Emily Dickinson is Dead was nominated for an Edgar Award and received a Nero Award.



Married William Gale Langton, June 10, 1943 (deceased April 1997). Children: Christopher, David, Andrew.

Joseph Lincoln Gillson

Grace Irene (Brown) Gillson

William Gale Langton

Christopher Langton

David Langton

Andrew Langton