Jane Beryl Wilde
29 March 1944
|Alma mater||Westfield College, London|
|Children||3, including Lucy Hawking|
Jane Beryl Wilde Hawking Jones (born 29 March 1944) is an English author and teacher. She was married to Stephen Hawking for 30 years.
Jane was born to George and Beryl Wilde (née Eagleton). She grew up in St Albans, Hertfordshire. She was raised in the Church of England and is an active Christian.
She studied languages at the University of London's Westfield College. 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. They had three children: Robert, born in 1967, Lucy, born in 1970, and Timothy, born in 1979.
After years of working on her doctoral thesis through Westfield College, Hawking received her PhD in medieval Spanish poetry in April 1981. She felt compelled to obtain a PhD to have her own academic identity within Cambridge.
Jane and Stephen Hawking separated in 1990, and divorced five years later. In 1997, she married musician Jonathan Hellyer Jones. However, she continued to support Hawking due to his health problems as he continued to work. In the postlude to her 2007 memoir Travelling to Infinity, she says of Hawking after his second divorce (from nurse Elaine Mason) "We are able to associate freely again and enjoy many a family occasion together. It has been quite like old times..."
During her marriage to 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.
In 1999, she wrote an autobiography about her first marriage, Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen. She and Stephen Hawking established a working relationship following his separation and divorce from his second wife.
In 2009, an updated version of the autobiography was republished under the title Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen and was subsequently made into the award-winning film The Theory of Everything. Following the release of the film, Hawking discussed her life on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in January 2015.
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.