Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh on March 3, 1859. When he was five years old, his mother died of scarlet fever and he nearly died himself, of the same disease. His father became an alcoholic and sent the children to Berkshire to live with relatives. They were later reunited with their father, but after a failed year, the children never heard from him again. Sometime later, one of his brothers died at the age of fifteen. He attended St. Edward's School as a child and intended to go on to Oxford University, but his relatives wanted him to go into banking. He worked in his uncle's office, in Westminster, for two years then went to work at the Bank of England as a clerk in 1879. He spent nearly thirty years there and became the Secretary of the Bank at the age of thirty-nine. He retired from the bank right before The Wind in the Willows was published in 1908. He wrote essays on topics that included smoking, walking and idleness. Many of the essays were published as the book Pagan Papers (1893) and the five orphan characters featured in the papers were developed into the books The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1898). The Wind in the Willows (1908) was based on bedtime stories and letters to his son and it is where the characters Rat, Badger, Mole and Toad were created. In 1930, Milne's stage version was brought to another audience in Toad of Toad Hall. Grahame died on July 6, 1932.
Born in Daresbury, England,in 1832, Charles Luthwidge Dodgson is better known by his pen mane of Lewis Carroll. He became a minister of the Church of England and a lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was the author, under his own name, of An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Symbolic Logic (1896), and other scholarly treatises which would hardly have given him a place in English literature. Charles Dodgson might have been completely forgotten but for the work of his alter ego, Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll, shy in the company of adults, loved children and knew and understood the world of the imagination in which the most sensitive of them lived. So he put the little girl Alice Liddell into a dream-story and found himself famous as the author of Alice in Wonderland (1865). Through the Looking Glass followed in 1871. In recent years Carroll has been taken quite seriously as a major literary artist for adults as well. His works have come under the scrutiny of critics who have explained his permanent attractiveness in terms of existential and symbolic drama: The Alice books dramatize psychological realities in symbolic terms, being commentary on the nature of the human predicament rather than escape from it. In addition to his writing, Carroll was also a pioneering photographer, and he took many pictures of young children, especially girls, with whom he seemed to empathize.