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Doctor Jane Beryl Wilde Hawking Jones (née Wilde, born 29 March 1944) is an English author and teacher. She was married for 30 years to Professor Stephen Hawking.

Jane Hawking
Born Jane Beryl Wilde
(1944-03-29) 29 March 1944 (age 73)
St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Alma mater Westfield College, London
Occupation Author, teacher
Spouse(s) Stephen Hawking
(m. 1965; div. 1995)

Jonathan Jones
(m. 1997)
Children 3, including Lucy Hawking


Early life and educationEdit

Hawking was born to Beryl (née Eagleton) and George Wilde. She grew up in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

She studied languages at the University of London's Westfield College.[1] Jane and Stephen Hawking met through mutual college friends at a party in 1962. Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) in 1963. Even aware of his consequent shortened life expectancy and limitations, the couple became engaged in 1964 and married in 1965 in their shared hometown of St Albans.[2] They had three children: Robert, born in 1967, Lucy, born in 1970, and Timothy, born in 1979.[3]

After years of working on her doctoral thesis through Westfield College, Hawking received her PhD in medieval Spanish poetry in April 1981.[4] She felt compelled to obtain a PhD to have her own academic identity within Cambridge.[5]

Jane and her husband separated in 1990, and divorced five years later. In 1997, she married musician Jonathan Hellyer Jones.[6] However, Hawking continued to support her former husband due to his health problems as he continued to work.[7]

During her marriage to Stephen Hawking while dealing with the progression of his illness, Jane suffered from depression. In a 2004 interview, she cited her Christian faith as giving her hope during her marriage and the depression she experienced as a result of being his then-caregiver. In that interview, Jane noted the irony in her faith-based strength to support him in light of Stephen Hawking's well-known atheism.[7]

Later lifeEdit

In 1999 she wrote an autobiography about her first marriage, Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen. She and her first husband established a working relationship following his separation and divorce from his second wife. In 2007, an updated version of the autobiography was re-published under the title Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen[1] and was subsequently made into the award-winning film The Theory of Everything.[8] Following the release of the film, Hawking discussed her life on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in January 2015.[9]

Portrayal in mediaEdit

Hawking was portrayed on television by Lisa Dillon in the 2004 television film Hawking, and on film by Felicity Jones in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, for which Jones was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress; the film was adapted from Hawking's memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.[10] Hawking discussed Jones' portrayal of her in the film on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in January 2015.[9]



  1. ^ a b Anderson, L.V. (7 November 2014). "How Accurate Is The Theory of Everything?". Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Ferguson, Kitty (3 January 2012). Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-230-34060-2. 
  3. ^ Ferguson, Kitty (5 July 2012). Stephen Hawking: His Life and Work (paperback ed.). Bantam. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8575-0074-8. 
  4. ^ "simplyknowledge – Biographies- Stephen Hawking". 
  5. ^ Hawking, Jane (1 January 2015). "The Theory of Everything: the true story of Stephen Hawking and Jane Hawking's marriage". 
  6. ^ Ferguson, Kitty (2011). Stephen Hawking: His Life and Work. Transworld. ISBN 978-1-4481-1047-6. 
  7. ^ a b Adams, Tim (3 April 2004). "Brief history of a first wife". The Observer. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Fact-Checking the Film: 'The Theory of Everything'". Entertainment Weekly. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Presenter: Sheila McClennon; Producer: Susannah Tresilian; Interviewed Guest: Jane Hawking (2 January 2015). "Jane Hawking; Surrogacy; Same Clothes Every Day; Safe Houses for Over-45s". Woman's Hour. 03:30 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  10. ^ Anderson, L.V. (7 November 2014). "How Accurate Is The Theory of Everything?". Slate. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 

External linksEdit