Author Johanna Spyri was born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland on June 12, 1827. She was tutored at home and attended school both at home and in Zurich. She married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer, in 1852 and moved to Zurich. She wrote her first story, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave, in 1871. She wrote numerous stories for both children and adults, but her most famous work was Heidi, which was published in 1880. Both her husband and son died in 1884. She spent her remaining years writing, raising her niece, and doing charity work. She died on July 7, 1901.
Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 21, 1925. She graduated from Bedford College, London with a degree in physiology in 1945 and the University of Durham with a degree in education in 1965. Her first book, The Great Ghost Rescue, was published in 1975. She primarily wrote children's book and romance novels for adults and young adults. Her other works include The Secret of Platform 13, The Star of Kazan, Which Witch?, Island of the Aunts, Dial-a-Ghost, The Ogre of Oglefort, A Company of Swans, and A Song For Summer. She won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Journey to the River Sea. She died on October 20, 2010 at the age of 85.