Who is Jane Wilde? Stephen Hawking’s Ex-Wife

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Jane Beryl Wilde Hawking Jones or simply Jane Wilde stayed married to Stephen Hawking for three decades. Being the most notable relationship among others in the life of Stephan, they have three lovely children together. As he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, their marriage fell to crumbles.

Truly speaking, by now, above half a century after she gets trapped inside the orbit of the brightest star of the contemporary scientific world, Hawking, and 23 years counting from the day their 30-year marriage was resolved, Jane Wilde is more than used to life in the shadow of her celebrated ex-husband.

But who really is Jane Wilde, what life she has been living since her divorce and how much struggling it was for her to cater to Stephan’s needs?

Quick intro

Jane Hawking is a well-known British Autobiographer, Linguist, and author who has been managing to give her time in England and northern France, providing her skillful services. Currently, she has been living with her husband.

Basically, she is from the UK as she was brought up in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Born to Beryl (née Eagleton) and George Wilde on 29 March 1944, she is a real Aries! It means, she is full of love, craze, bravery, passion, and life! She practices Christianity and has been raised in the Church of England.

This 77-years old woman is known for being the spouse of Stephen Hawking. But even after separation, she has fame. Why and how? Well, because Jane Wilde is much more than a wife! From the University of London’s Westfield College, she studied languages. She has her educational basis in Literature Social science.


Do you know Jane Wilde has written an autobiography explaining her life struggles, happiness, successes, love, and fights she experienced with Stephen? Well, there are 2 books. And, truly speaking, these books are worth the read and your time. So, we recommend you to read it in your free time and enjoy the retro love with the sad twist!

She has named the first autobiography “Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen”. What a pretty name or should we say dreamy! Marketed in 1999, it is based on her married life, the happy phase. Who would have known that they will be getting divorced after giving 30 years of their lives to each other? With a gap of several years, she released the second part. She named it “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”. WHOA! We can only try to imagine her feelings, love, and unconditional care for Stephen. It was brought in 2007 when Stephen divorced his second wife which straightens their love life a bit.

You must have heard about a blockbuster, famous and one of the most appreciated movies of 2014 “The Theory of Everything”. It has starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as Hawking and Jane, respectively. The movie has been produced on these autobiographies.

Apart from the autobiographies, she has published beautifully written novels that will take you to the world of real aesthetics. Full of emotions, she can do miracles with words! Her first novel, “Silent Music”, published in 2016 by Alma Books is genuinely a treasure. Her talent to explain and signify the facts and realities with the pop of fantasy seems unreal. It revolves around a child brought up in London during the 2nd World War in an ill-fated family. The second of this trilogy, “Cry To Dream Again” is actually a prequel. Well, we bet its third and final installment “Immortal Souls” will be an absolute marvel.

Marriage life with Stephen Hawking

1962 is the year when Jane Wilde and Stephen Hawking met for the first time. Yes, they met there through a mutual friend and fell in love right away.

A year later after dating, in 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. But the prognosis was false that, at the age of 21, he had two years left to live. How devastating it would have been to hear. Even after knowing about his shortened life expectancy, the couple got engaged in 1964, and she married Stephen in 1965 accepting him with his limitations They were married in St Albans.

On one hand, Stephen’s career was discovering the highest success and on the other hand, his condition was worsening. With him, Jane found herself struggling for life as she felt like losing her identity in society. She said,

“It was very difficult for me when I was much younger because I just became a sort of appendage,” she says. It wasn’t that she was uncomfortable with her chosen role, “supporting Stephen and making things possible for him. It was more the way other people treated me that was upsetting and depressing”.

With time, Hawking’s condition was continuously deteriorating and the stresses upon Jane Wilde kept growing. Imagine yourself dealing with a disabled partner, taking care of all the household, trying to focus on studies along with raising children alone! Don’t know if it is pathetic or sad, love or will BUT it took her the best part of 12 years.

In 1990, Jane finally planned to get separation. But their marriage ended in 1995 when Stephen confessed her love for Elaine Mason, one of his nurses. Well, do not mistake it for the reason for their divorce. In an interview, Jane Wilde announced that the reason for their divorce was that she used to feel alone and left out, unsupported and fading the background. She believed that Hawking “left behind” the family upon gaining recognition for his scientific services.

Jane Wilde and Jonathan Jones

As Stephen’s popularity rose to the new skies, Jane was falling down the pit of anonymity. With the increasing life struggles, overwhelming need to take care of the Hawking, and having a home occupied with nurses were making Jane insane.

Being a keen singer, she started spending time with music and that was the time when she grew close to Cambridge organist and choirmaster Jonathan Hellyer Jones. As she said, she not only found love but also friendship, too. Jane Wilde found the will to live a happy life again in the company of Jonathan. Right there, she decided to get married to him.


Robert – born in 1967

Lucy – born in 1970

Timothy – born in 1979

Portrayal in media

On one side, we can say Jane Wilde deserved to be known, to be acknowledged, to be appreciated, and to be seen by the world! On the other, we are not sure if the movie portrayal can do or have done justice to his real-life struggles and passions.

First, she was portrayed by Lisa Dillon on television in the 2004 television film named “Hawking”. Ten years later in 2014, Felicity Jones played the role of Jane in the film “The Theory of Everything.

Famous works

  • At Home In France: Guide to Buying and Renovating Property In France – published in 1994 by Allegro Publications (ISBN 0952308002)
  • Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen – published in 1999 by Macmillan Publishers, London (ISBN 0-333-74686-4)
  • Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen – published in 2007 by Alma Books (ISBN 1-84688-065-3)
  • Silent Music – Novel published in 2016
  • Cry to Dream Again – Novel published in 2018

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