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26 Characters: exhibition book

Image: cover of 26 Characters book with text '50 signed copies available'.

‘Full of gems…It will whet youngsters’ (and adults’) appetite to read more, interest both the generally nosy and scholars of children’s literature, inspire fledgling writers, photographers, costumiers and make-up artists, and prompt the opening up of a lot of dressing-up boxes.’
– Nicolette Jones, children’s book editor for The Sunday Times

26 Characters: celebrating childhood story heroes

Photographs by Cambridge Jones

Edited by Alice Rochester

Foreword by Andy Stanton

Including new stories by Neill Cameron, Jamila Gavin, Alex Kanefsky and Geraldine McCaughrean, and especially commissioned illustrations by Robert Fresson

£25 per copy plus £3 per copy for UK First Class delivery. Signed edition: £250. To order, please ring 01865 790050.


Sometimes, while we are growing up, we meet someone – in a told tale or storybook, a film or a game – who captures our imagination and takes up permanent residence in our head. Pirates and pranksters, witches and woodland creatures, monsters and mythical heroes, these fictional friends can be as vivid as real people, and considerably more interesting.

The 26 Characters exhibition is what happened when The Story Museum invited some of Britain’s most exciting children’s authors to name their favourite story characters from their own childhood, and then be transformed into those characters and photographed by Cambridge Jones. Continue the adventure with the 26 Characters book, each chapter introducing the heroes and villains from our much-loved children’s classics.

Revealing unseen photographs, interviews, favourite extracts, original illustrations and new stories, the book is a feast for the imagination and a delightful insight into the characters who have inspired our favourite children’s authors.

26 Characters is a wonderful gift for any child embarking on a journey into literature, and a timeless keepsake for any lover of stories.


Malorie Blackman – Steven Butler & Francesca Simon – Cressida Cowell – Kevin Crossley-Holland – Ted & Pandora Dewan – Julia & Malcolm Donaldson – Neil Gaiman – Jamila Gavin – Frances Hardinge – Charlie Higson – Anthony Horowitz – Katrice Horsley  – Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliamy – Terry Jones – Geraldine McCaughrean – Michael Morpurgo – Terry Pratchett – Philip Pullman – Michael Rosen – Katherine Rundell – Holly Smale – Benjamin Zephaniah


Anansi the Spider – Badger – Boromir – Bellerophon – Dr Jekyll/ Mr Hyde – Hanuman the Monkey God – Lady Bracknell & Miss Prism – Long John Silver – Magwitch – Mary Poppins – Merlin – The Owl & the Pussy-cat – Peter Pan – Pod &Arrietty Clock – the Queen of Hearts & the Mad Hatter – Rupert Bear – the Scarlet Pimpernel – Till Eulenspiegel – the White Witch – the Wicked Witch of the West – a Wild Thing – William Brown

But who was who?

And why?



Cambridge Jones

Cambridge Jones studied politics at Oxford and acting at RADA before becoming a rock drummer, restaurant owner and award-winning photographer. He has photographed four British prime  ministers, the Queen, Al Pacino and everyone from Sir Anthony Hopkins to James Bond. He exhibits all around the world, and some of his work resides in the Queen’s private library at Windsor castle. Adopted at the age of two, he often works with charities that support children, including the Prince’s trust, Barnardo’s and The Story Museum. Cambridge Jones may not always have been his real name.

Alice Rochester

Alice Rochester is the great-great granddaughter of Barnabas Rochester, the notorious recluse and inventor of the unfortunate story loom. Now the guardian of the museum’s most secret story vaults, she still lives nearby with Merton, her pet pigeon. Very little happens to Alice, although she frequently travels the world in her imagination. Alice may or may not be a real person.

Unbiased opinions

‘It was so engrossing and intoxicating, it could almost be a book in itself. Oh, wait… it is!’ Cambridge Jones

‘Fantastic.’ Francesca Simon (The Queen of Hearts), page 16

‘Fantastic. No, really. It is.’ Ted Dewan (Pod Clock), page 30

‘Delightful’ Kevin Crossley-Holland (Merlin),  page 26

ISBN: 978-0-9569918-1-2

£25 per copy plus £3 per copy for UK First Class delivery.

To order, please ring 01865 790050

For multiple copies or delivery outside of the UK please contact us on office@storymuseum.org.uk or call us on 01865 790050.