Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton, England. The eldest child of Thomas and Jemima, Hardy studied Latin, French, and architecture in school. He also became an avid reader. Upon graduation, Hardy traveled to London to work as an architect's assistant under the guidance of Arthur Bloomfield. He also began writing poetry. How I Built Myself a House, Hardy's first professional article, was published in 1865. Two years later, while still working in the architecture field, Hardy wrote the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady. During the next five years, Hardy penned Desperate Remedies, Under the Greenwood Tree, and A Pair of Blue Eyes. In 1873, Hardy decided it was time to relinquish his architecture career and concentrate on writing full-time. In September 1874, his first book as a full-time author, Far from the Madding Crowd, appeared serially. After publishing more than two dozen novels, one of the last being Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy returned to writing poetry--his first love. Hardy's volumes of poetry include Poems of the Past and Present, The Dynasts: Part One, Two, and Three, Time's Laughingstocks, and The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall. From 1833 until his death, Hardy lived in Dorchester, England. His house, Max Gate, was designed by Hardy, who also supervised its construction. Hardy died on January 11, 1928. His ashes are buried in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.
Miska Petersham was born in Torokszentmiklos, Hungary on September 20, 1888. He graduated from the Budapest Academy of Art in Hungary and immigrated to the United States in 1912. He worked at the International Art Service, where he met his future wife and life-long illustrating partner, Maud Petersham. The husband-and-wife team illustrated more than 70 books for children, many of which they also wrote. They received the 1946 Caldecott Medal for The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles. Their other works include The Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg, The Box with Red Wheels, and The Christ Child. He died in 1960.Marcelle Clements is the author of Rock Me, a novel, and The Dog Is Us, essays. Her award-winning essays and articles have appeared in numerous publications, among them the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Elle, and Esquire. She lives in New York City.