Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh on March 3, 1859. When he was five years old, his mother died of scarlet fever and he nearly died himself, of the same disease. His father became an alcoholic and sent the children to Berkshire to live with relatives. They were later reunited with their father, but after a failed year, the children never heard from him again. Sometime later, one of his brothers died at the age of fifteen. He attended St. Edward's School as a child and intended to go on to Oxford University, but his relatives wanted him to go into banking. He worked in his uncle's office, in Westminster, for two years then went to work at the Bank of England as a clerk in 1879. He spent nearly thirty years there and became the Secretary of the Bank at the age of thirty-nine. He retired from the bank right before The Wind in the Willows was published in 1908. He wrote essays on topics that included smoking, walking and idleness. Many of the essays were published as the book Pagan Papers (1893) and the five orphan characters featured in the papers were developed into the books The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1898). The Wind in the Willows (1908) was based on bedtime stories and letters to his son and it is where the characters Rat, Badger, Mole and Toad were created. In 1930, Milne's stage version was brought to another audience in Toad of Toad Hall. Grahame died on July 6, 1932.
Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15, 1939. After he finished St. John's School at the age of fifteen, he became a merchant seaman and travelled to numerous ports including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a police constable, a postmaster, and a stand-up comic. During the sixties, he was a member of the folk singing group The Liverpool Fishermen. He wrote both poetry and music, but he began his writing career in earnest as a playwright. His three stage plays Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, and Scouse have been performed at the Everyman Theatre. He wrote Redwall for the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool, where he delivered milk as a truck driver. His style of writing is very descriptive, because of the nature of his first audience, for whom he painted pictures with words, so that they could see them in their imaginations. After Alan Durband, his childhood English teacher, read Redwall, he showed it to a publisher without telling Jacques. This event led to a contract for the first five books in the Redwall series. He also wrote the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series. He died on February 5, 2011.