Actor Adrian Grenier arrives for the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 10, 2010 in New York City. Stephen Mangan, who played the television role of Adrian Mole in 2001, said on hearing of her passing, “Greatly upset to hear that Sue Townsend has died. The Adrian Mole books described the growing pains and internal worries of a teenage boy, his loves and woes, such as glue sniffing and ending up with model aeroplane stuck to his nose! Whilst Adrian Mole’s father read Playboy he read Charles Dickens by torchlight and wanted to escape his housing estate existence and find true love with Pandora. Her novels featured wry humour, social commentary on class and economic inequalities, and an independent feminism and socialism.
Although she is most famous for creating a teenage boy and all his adolescent angst, it was her female characters that most reflected her own ideals. She had planned to write one or two more Adrian Mole novels, the 10th and 11th, to cover the Coalition years of the current Government. Read more reader suggested memorable quotes from Adrian Mole in the comments section of this Guardian piece.


Sue Townsend, will undoubtedly be missed, despite her few critics and doubters – as evidenced in some comment threads, but most especially for her warmth, generosity and a style of satire, so eminently British, that is paradoxically both sharp and soft on its targets. Writing, speaking, lecturing, humour, comedy, quotes, inspiration, motivation, mental health, LGBTIQ, equality, human rights, businesses, projects, life journey – all in one passionate purple place.
Despite failing her 11-plus exam, leaving school at 15, and being a three-child single mother by 23, she went on to write 17 books, 11 plays and receive half-a-dozen awards including two honorary doctorates. Her first book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13? became one of the bestselling books of the 1980s in which it was also set.
To date some 20 million+ copies of the books have sold, as it has spawned numerous sequels and translations, making both Sue Townsend and Adrian Mole famous. Townsend saw a life littered with literature and books as an opportunity for economic, mental, and social escape. Having started on Richmal Crompton’s Just William, she quickly graduated to Jane Eyre, and from there to Dostoevsky. His were the trials of a teenage boy, intellectually and sexually thwarted, at one and same time.


The Falklands, Old and New Labour, Tony Benn, old-school Communist OAP Bert, even the break up of the SDP all featured.
She was never vicious and left enough humanity in each character she penned or real people she had her creations criticise for each reader to be left to make up their own minds. Wallpaper images in the The Secret Life of the American Teenager club tagged: the secret life of the american teenager ben grace ricky amy adrian jack. I got dressed reading, walked to school reading and finished it in the cloakroom at lunchtime.



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