Evan Jones (writer)

Evan Jones (29 December 1927–21 July 2012)[3] was a poet, playwright and screenwriter based in Britain. He was educated in Jamaica, the United States and England. Jones taught at schools in the United States before moving to England in 1956 and beginning a career as a writer.

Evan Jones
BornEvan Gordon Newton Jones
(1927-12-29)29 December 1927
Portland, Jamaica
OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter, poet
EducationMunro College, Jamaica, Haverford College, Pennsylvania
Alma materWadham College, Oxford
GenreTV drama, screenplays, poetry
Notable worksKing & Country, Modesty Blaise, Funeral in Berlin, Wake in Fright, Escape to Victory
Notable awardsMartin Luther King Award
SpouseJoanna Jones[1]
ChildrenMelissa,[1] Sadie[2]

He wrote the scripts for the feature films King & Country, Modesty Blaise, Funeral in Berlin, Wake in Fright and several television plays.


Evan Jones was born in 1927 in Portland, Jamaica, the son of a Fred M Jones, a farmer, and Gladys, a Quaker missionary and teacher. One of seven children, Jones grew up in rural Jamaica and was educated locally, then at the prestigious boarding school Munro College, and subsequently attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania. After Haverford, he went to the Gaza Strip in Palestine in 1949, with the American Friends Service Committee, which organized the refugee camps there under the auspices of the United Nations; his experiences became the basis of his first TV screenplay, The Widows of Jaffa.[4] He graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, in 1952 with a BA (Bachelors of Arts Honours)in English literature.[5] Jones taught at the George School in Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University, Connecticut. In 1956, he moved to England and earned his living as a writer of documentary drama, television plays and feature films.

His works include the television documentary series The Fight Against Slavery and several films directed by Joseph Losey, including Eva (a collaboration with Hugo Butler, 1962), King & Country (1964) and Modesty Blaise (1966). His other screenplays include Funeral in Berlin (1966), Escape to Victory (1981) and A Show of Force (1990). He is also notable as the author of Madhouse on Castle Street (1963), a now lost BBC television play, which featured the acting début of Bob Dylan.[6] Jones's poem, The Song of the Banana Man (1956), is taught in schools throughout the Caribbean and published in anthologies worldwide. He has also written biographies, and textbooks and novels for children.[7]

His wife, Joanna, is an actor and his daughters Melissa and Sadie are both novelists.[1][2]





  • Protector of the Indians, Nelson, 1958
  • Tales of the Caribbean: Anansi Stories, Ginn, 1984
  • Tales of the Caribbean: Witches and Duppies, Ginn, 1984
  • Tales of the Caribbean: The Beginning of Things, Ginn, 1984
  • Skylarking, Longman, 1993
  • Stonehaven, Institute of Jamaica Publications, 1993
  • A Poem For Every Day of the Year (Allie Esiri, Pan Macmillan, 2017)


  • The Song of the Banana Man (1956)
  • Lament of the Banana Man (1962)


  1. Roberts, Alison (16 June 2008). "Keeping up with Mrs Jones". The Evening Standard, archived at LexisNexis. London: Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  2. Kyte, Holly (13 May 2008). "Sadie Jones: 'It just wouldn't leave me alone'". Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  3. Evan Gordon Jones profile, Rootsweb.ancestry.com; updated 20 March 2017.
  4. Hellfire Hall (14 September 2018). "REVIEW: The Widows of Jaffa". The Official Peter Wyngarde Appreciation Society. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  5. Southwood-Smith, Donna. "Language as a vehicle for National Themes" (PDF). Washington Research Library Consortium. p. 10. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  6. "Dylan in the Madhouse". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  7. "Evan Jones". Heinemann Books. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
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