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Lloyd Alexander; Fantasy and Adventure Writer

He endured rejections for years and viewed Army service during World War II as a way to enhance his writing through experience and adventure. While assigned to a base in Wales, he became enchanted with the landscape, which recalled fantasy stories from his childhood.

He ended the war in Paris working in counterintelligence. He briefly stayed on, taking classes at the Sorbonne and meeting the woman who became his wife, a Parisian named Janine Denni.

He returned to Drexel Hill with his new family, having adopted his wife's daughter. He made a modest living translating French literature by Jean-Paul Sartre and Paul Eluard before his first novel was published.

Initially, he wrote about subjects he knew well, including his wife ("Janine Is French") and cats ("My Five Tigers").

"Perhaps one reason we are fascinated by cats," he wrote, "is because such a small animal can contain so much independence, dignity and freedom of spirit. Unlike the dog, the cat's personality is never bet on a human's. He demands acceptance on his own terms."

A feline helped a boy travel through time in Mr. Alexander's first fantasy novel, "Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth" (1963).

The next year, he wrote the first of the Chronicles of Prydain, "The Book of Three." This was followed by five titles during the next decade: "The Black Cauldron," "The Castle of Llyr," "Taran Wanderer," "The High King" and "The Foundling."

His last novel, "The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio," an Arabian Nights-themed adventure about a treasure hunt, is scheduled for publication in August.

Mr. Alexander preferred an unflashy life. He played Mozart on his violin, drew cartoons and fed squirrels in his back yard. He once admitted to a weakness for doughnuts and wafers before bedtime.

His wife died May 2. His daughter, Madeline Khalil, died in 1990.

Survivors include five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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