John Edward Masefield - (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and poems, including "The Everlasting Mercy" and "Sea-Fever".
Reginald James MacGregor was a British author of children's literature who wrote numerous books and plays between the 1920s and 1950s, as RJ McGregor. His early books had Far Eastern settings. His most successful books were 'The Young Detectives' and its sequels. These books charted the adventures of a family where the children had the same names as his children. He was the Headmaster of Bristol Grammar Preparatory School.
George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings have been cited as a major literary influence by many notable authors including W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later," said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence".
Elizabeth Yates wrote of Sir Gibbie, "It moved me the way books did when, as a child, the great gates of literature began to open and first encounters with noble thoughts and utterances were unspeakably thrilling."
Even Mark Twain, who initially disliked MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by MacDonald. Christian author Oswald Chambers (1874–1917) wrote in Christian Disciplines, vol. 1, (pub. 1934) that "it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald's books have been so neglected".
In addition to his fairy tales, MacDonald wrote several works on Christian apologetics including several that defended his view of Christian Universalism.
Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge FRSL (24 April 1900 – 1 April 1984) was an English author of novels, short stories and children's books as Elizabeth Goudge. She won the Carnegie Medal for British children's books in 1946 for The Little White Horse. She was a best-selling author in both the UK and the US from the 1930s through the 1970s. Goudge's first book, The Fairies' Baby and Other Stories (1919), was a failure and it was several years before she wrote her first novel, Island Magic (1934), which was an immediate success. It was based on Channel Island stories, many of which she had learned from her mother, a native of Guernsey. Elizabeth herself regularly visited Guernsey as a child, and recalled in her autobiography The Joy of the Snow spending many of her summers with her maternal grandparents and relatives. For The Little White Horse, published by the University of London Press in 1946, Goudge won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject. It was her own favourite among her works. Goudge's books are notably Christian in outlook, containing such themes as sacrifice, conversion, discipline, healing, and growth through suffering. Her novels, whether realistic, fantasy, or historical, interweave legend and myth and reflect her spirituality and her deep love of England. Whether written for adults or children, the same qualities pervade Goudge's work and are the source of its appeal to readers.
Cyril Walter Hodges 1909 – 2004 was an English artist, writer and theatrical costume and scenery designer. He was best known for illustrating children's books and for helping recreate Elizabethan theatre. He won the annual Greenaway Medal for British children's book illustration in 1964.
Hodges spent most of his career as a freelance illustrator. For many years he did line drawings for the Radio Times. Among the writers for children with whom he collaborated as an illustrator were Ian Serraillier, Rosemary Sutcliff (The Eagle of the Ninth), Rhoda Power (Redcap Runs Away), and Elizabeth Goudge (The Little White Horse).
During a year spent in New York he was encouraged to write, as well as illustrate, Columbus Sails (1939), a work of historical fiction for children. It proved popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Its success eventually led to several others including The Namesake: A Story Of King Alfred and its sequel The Marsh King; Magna Carta; The Norman Conquest; and The Spanish Armada (1964 to 1967). The Namesake was a commended runner up for the annual Carnegie Medal, which recognises the author of the year's best British children's book.
Bruce Carter's real name was Richard Alexander Hough, 1922 - 1999. He was a British author and historian specializing in maritime history. He mostly wrote for adults, using his real name- Richard Hough, but for his books for children he used the nom de plume Bruce Carter. He wrote 90 books!
His books for children:
The Perilous Descent
Four Wheel Drift
Kidnapping of Kensington published by Puffin as 'The Children Who Stayed Behind'
Leon Garfield FRSL (14 July 1921 – 2 June 1996) was a British writer of fiction. He is best known for children's historical novels, though he also wrote for adults. He wrote more than thirty books and scripted Shakespeare: The Animated Tales for television.
Garfield wrote his first book, the pirate novel Jack Holborn, for adult readers but a Constable & Co. editor saw its potential as a children's novel and persuaded him to adapt it for a younger audience. In that form it was published by Constable in 1964. His second book, Devil-in-the-Fog (1966), won the first annual Guardian Prize and was serialised for television, as were several later works. Devil-in-the-Fog was the first of several historical adventure novels, typically set late in the eighteenth century and featuring a character of humble origins (in this case a boy from a family of traveling actors) pushed into the midst of a threatening intrigue. Another was Smith (1967), with the eponymous hero a young pickpocket accepted into a wealthy household; it won the Phoenix Award in 1987. Yet another was Black Jack (1968), in which a young apprentice is forced by accident and his conscience to accompany a murderous criminal.
In 1970, Garfield's work started to move in new directions with The God Beneath the Sea, a re-telling of numerous Greek myths in one narrative, written by Garfield and Edward Blishen and illustrated by Charles Keeping. It won the annual Carnegie Medal for British children's books. Garfield, Blishen, and Keeping collaborated again on a sequel, The Golden Shadow (1973). The Drummer Boy (1970) was another adventure story, but concerned more with a central moral problem, and apparently aimed at somewhat older readers, a trend continued in The Prisoners of September (1975), The Pleasure Garden (1976) and The Confidence Man (1978). The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris (1972) was a black comedy in which two boys decide to test the plausibility of Romulus and Remus using one of the boys' baby sister. Most notable at the time was a series of linked long short stories about apprentices, published separately between 1976 and 1978, and then as a collection, The Apprentices. The more adult themed books of the mid-1970s met with a mixed reception and Garfield returned to the model of his earlier books with John Diamond, which won a Whitbread Award in 1980, and The December Rose (1986). In 1980 he also wrote an ending for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished at the 1870 death of Dickens, an author who had been a major influence on Garfield's own style.
Garfield's novels for children all have a historical setting. In the early novels this is mostly the late eighteenth century, from John Diamond on, it is the nineteenth century. But they are not novels about historical events, which are rarely depicted, or social conditions, which provide only the starting point for the personal stories of the characters. In the few novels where Garfield handles actual events, he writes from the limited and subjective viewpoint of his characters.
Patricia Lynch (1894 – 1972) was an Irish author of children's literature and journalist. She was the author of some 48 novels and 200 short stories. She is best known for blending Irish rural life and fantasy.
Patricia Lynch is best known for The Turf-Cutter's Donkey, first published in 1934. This story concerns Seamus and Eileen, an enchanted teapot and the little grey donkey, Long Ears. The children meet a leprechaun, a golden eagle, the Salmon of Knowledge and Finn on their adventure. A few sequels followed.
Another series of hers is the Brogeen series, a fantasy children's book series. In this series, Brogeen is the name of the main character in the book, a leprechaun who keeps running away from his home. It has been read on radio and released as a puppet theatre series on Irish TV.
The Bookshop on the Quay is her best-known non-fantasy book. It tells the story of Shane from the country who learns the trade of bookselling at The Four Masters Bookshop in Dublin. The book was read on Jackanory.
Lynch's literature, always morally simple, remains praised for its otherworldly depictions of life in the west of Ireland. Her protagonists often encounter characters from Irish folklore, and speak a Gaelicised English reminiscent of Lady Gregory's Kiltartan.
Marcus Crouch in The Nesbit Tradition describes Lynch's work as "the richest and most heart-warming of family stories." He particularly mentions the fantasy The Grey Goose of Kilnevin and the "homely adventure" Fiddler's Quest.
Her works had many different illustrators, including the renowned artists John Butler Yeats (The Turf-Cutter's Donkey) and Sean Keating (The Grey Goose of Kilnevin).
Cecil Day-Lewis (or Day Lewis), CBE (27 April 1904 – 22 May 1972) born in Ballintubbert, Ireland, was a British poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until his death in 1972. He also wrote mystery stories under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake.
Jean-Marie-Edmond Sabran (21 February 1908, Hyères, Var – 19 January 1994, Paris), best known by his pseudonym Paul Berna, was a French writer whose children's books were also published in Britain and the United States. After publishing several books under his own name, from 1952 he wrote children's books under the pseudonym Paul Berna. His most famous book, Le Cheval sans tête, usually known in English as A Hundred Million Francs, was published in 1955. It concerns the adventures of a gang of street urchins from the slums of Paris whose plaything, a headless horse on wheels, is used as a hiding-place by train robbers. It has been translated into several languages, enjoying great success in Britain and the United States. In 1963, the Disney Studios in Britain filmed the book as The Horse Without a Head: The 100,000,000 Franc Train Robbery.