Kipling, who as a novelist dramatized the ambivalence of the British colonial experience, was born of English parents in Bombay and as a child knew Hindustani better than English. He spent an unhappy period of exile from his parents (and the Indian heat) with a harsh aunt in England, followed by the public schooling that inspired his "Stalky" stories. He returned to India at 18 to work on the staff of the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and rapidly became a prolific writer. His mildly satirical work won him a reputation in England, and he returned there in 1889. Shortly after, his first novel, The Light That Failed (1890) was published, but it was not altogether successful. In the early 1890s, Kipling met and married Caroline Balestier and moved with her to her family's estate in Brattleboro, Vermont. While there he wrote Many Inventions (1893), The Jungle Book (1894-95), and Captains Courageous (1897). He became dissatisfied with life in America, however, and moved back to England, returning to America only when his daughter died of pneumonia. Kipling never again returned to the United States, despite his great popularity there. Short stories form the greater portion of Kipling's work and are of several distinct types. Some of his best are stories of the supernatural, the eerie and unearthly, such as "The Phantom Rickshaw," "The Brushwood Boy," and "They." His tales of gruesome horror include "The Mark of the Beast" and "The Return of Imray." "William the Conqueror" and "The Head of the District" are among his political tales of English rule in India. The "Soldiers Three" group deals with Kipling's three musketeers: an Irishman, a Cockney, and a Yorkshireman. The Anglo-Indian Tales, of social life in Simla, make up the larger part of his first four books. Kipling wrote equally well for children and adults. His best-known children's books are Just So Stories (1902), The Jungle Books (1894-95), and Kim (1901). His short stories, although their understanding of the Indian is often moving, became minor hymns to the glory of Queen Victoria's empire and the civil servants and soldiers who staffed her outposts. Kim, an Irish boy in India who becomes the companion of a Tibetan lama, at length joins the British Secret Service, without, says Wilson, any sense of the betrayal of his friend this actually meant. Nevertheless, Kipling has left a vivid panorama of the India of his day. In 1907, Kipling became England's first Nobel Prize winner in literature and the only nineteenth-century English poet to win the Prize. He won not only on the basis of his short stories, which more closely mirror the ambiguities of the declining Edwardian world than has commonly been recognized, but also on the basis of his tremendous ability as a popular poet. His reputation was first made with Barrack Room Ballads (1892), and in "Recessional" he captured a side of Queen Victoria's final jubilee that no one else dared to address.
Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire, England in May of 1935. She attended Slough Grammar School, and then went on to Somerville College and Oxford. She was the first woman to ever edit the University Magazine, the Cherwell. She graduated from Oxford with an MA in English and went to work for London's The Sunday Times as a reporter on the Atticus Column for Ian Flemming. She evenutally made it to features writer, during which time she wrote her first book, "Mandrake," a science fiction story for adults. Soon after the publication of "Mandrake," Cooper wrote the children's story "Over Sea, Under Stone" for a publishing house competition. It would later become the first of a five book series she would become famous for. She left England in 1963 to marry an American professor. Once there, she wrote two more books for adults, "Behind the Golden Gate" a study of America, and "Portrait of an Author" the biography of J. B. Priestley. In 1970, Cooper published "Dawn of Fear" an almost entirely autobiographical book about growing up as a child during the war. Even though Cooper wrote "Over Sea, Under Stone" as a entry for a publishing house competittion, she did not know at the time that it would be the first of her most famous copilation, "The Dark is Rising Series." In 1973 she wrote the second in the five book series, entitled "The Dark is Rising," published more than ten years after the first. In1974, Cooper published Greenwitch, book three, and book four, "The Grey King" a year later. "The Grey King" won the Newberry Medal in 1976. "Silver on the Tree" was the fifth and last book published, completing the series in 1977. After completing the "Dark is Rising" series, Cooper turned to writing for the theater, learning the style from Urjo Kareda at Tarragon Theatres in Toronto. She wrote for Jack Langstaff's "Revels." Her first major play was called "Foxfire," which was written in coolaboration with Hume Cronyn. The play eventually went to Broadway in 1983 and starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who won a Tony for her performance. Cooper then began working on "Seaward," but was interrupted by Jane Fonda, who wanted her to write the screenplay for Harriet Arnow's "The Dollmaker." She wrote the adaptation with Cronyn and won a Humanitas Award for it, while Jane Fonda won the Best Actress Emmy for her role. Cooper also got an Emmy nomination for her adaptation of "Foxfire" for television. "To Dance with the White Dog," a made for tv movie, was the last collaboration of Cooper, Cronyn and Tandy, Tandy having died in '94. IN the '80's and '90's, Cooper wrote the text for many children's picture books such as, "Jethro and the Jumbie" and "Danny and the Kings." 1993 marked her return to the Children's Book List with "The Boggart" and int's follow up "The Boggart and the Monster" in 1997. In 1996, Cooper published a collection of essays on children's literature entitled, "Dreams and Wishes." Over the course of her career, Cooper has written for newspapers, books for children and adults, screen[plays for television and cinema, and a Broadwat play. Today, she lectures on children's literture and continues to write.