Hilaire Belloc, 1870 - 1953 Hilaire Belloc was born in France in 1870, educated at Oxford, and naturalized as a British subject in 1902. Although he began as a writer of humorous verse for children, his works include satire, poetry, history, biography, fiction, and many volumes of essays. With his close friend and fellow Catholic, G. K. Chesterton, Belloc founded the New Witness, a weekly newspaper opposing capitalism and free thought and supporting a philosophy known as distributism. The pair was so close in thought and association that George Bernard Shaw nicknamed them Chesterbelloc. During his life, Belloc published over 150 books. Today, however, he is best remembered for only a few works, most notably his light verse, such as Cautionary Tales (1907) and A Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896). Belloc died in 1953 from burns caused when his dressing gown caught fire from the hearth.
Edward Gorey (1925-2000) wrote and illustrated such popular books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and The Headless Bust. He was also a very successful set and costume designer, earning a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Edward Gorey's Dracula. Animated sequences of his work have introduced the PBS series Mystery! since 1980.