Stella Gibbons was born on January 5, 1902 in London. She married Allan Bourne Webb in 1933 and had one child. Raised in a poor and unhappy home, she used her vivid imagination as a means of escape, often telling stories to entertain her younger brothers and other children in the neighborhood. She held numerous jobs including drama critic, reporter, and fashion writer and was a frequent contributor to magazines such as Punch and Tattler, writing short stories and poetry. Gibbons is best known for her novel Cold Comfort Farm. A satirical portrait of rural British life in the 1930's, it won the Femina Vie Heureuse prize in 1933. In the book, Flora, a socialite, is orphaned and forced to live with relatives in the country. Flora tries to bring order and sense to the gloomy Starkadders on Cold Comfort Farm. To the delight of readers, this novel has been adapted several times as successful British films. Stella Gibbons died on December 19, 1989 in London.
Lynne Truss was born in 1955 in Kingston upon Thames, England. She received a first-class honors degree in English Language and Literature from University College London in 1977. After graduation, she worked for the Radio Times as a sub-editor before moving to the Times Higher Education Supplement as the deputy literary editor in 1978. From 1986 to 1990, she was the literary editor of The Listener and was an arts and books reviewer for The Independent on Sunday before joining The Times in 1991. She currently reviews books for The Sunday Times. She has also written numerous books including Tennyson's Gift; Going Loco; Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation; and Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door.