ERIC LINKLATER (1899-1974) was born in Wales but grew up in the Orkney Islands. He served as a sniper in the First World War, from which he returned to study English at the University of Aberdeen. In the course of a busy life, he worked as a journalist for The Times of India, stood as a candidate for the National Party of Scotland, commanded a wartime fortress in his native Orkneys, searched out lost Italian art after the Second World War, and served as rector of his alma mater. He was also celebrated as a writer. Among his books are Juan in America, a comic picture of Prohibition-era America, Private Angelo, the story of an Italian peasant in the Second World War, several satires, a history of Scotland, a study of the Icelandic Sagas, and another acclaimed book for children, The Pirates in the Deep Green Sea.
The Wind on the Moon began as a story Linklater told his two daughters when they were caught in the rain on a walk. As his son describes it, “It was so good, such a wonderful and entrancing tale, that they begged him to write it down, and so he did.” The book later won the Carnegie Medal and was nominated for best book of 1944. “Those dear children, bellowing their anger,” wrote Linklater about his daughters’ role in inspiring the story. “How grateful I was!”
NICOLAS BENTLEY (1907-1978) was an artist and author, and the art director for the publishing house Andre Deutsch, Ltd. He drew many pictures for magazines and books, including an early edition of T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and was a well-known wit. Humor ran in his family: his father, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, invented the comic verse form known as a “clerihew”:
George the Third
Ought never to have occurred.
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder.