ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF was born in Surrey, the daughter of a naval officer. At the age of two she contracted the progressively wasting Still's disease, and hence spent most of her life in a wheelchair. Her first children's book was published in 1950, and from then on she devoted her time and talents to the writing of children's historical novels, which have placed her name high in the field of contemporary children's literature. Rosemary received an OBE in the 1975 Birthday Honours List. Rosemary Sutcliff's novels about Roman Britain have won much critical acclaim. The best-known of these is her The Eagle of the Ninth trilogy, of which the second book in the trilogy, The Lantern Bearers, was awarded the 1959 Carnegie Medal. Rosemary died in 1992 at the age of 72.
ALAN LEE is an English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer. He won the Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations to Rosemary Sutcliff's Black Ships Before Troy, which was followed by The Wanderings of Odysseus (both Frances Lincoln). In 1998 he won the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards. He illustrated the Centenary editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and, more recently, The Children of Húrin (HarperCollins). He went on to transform his vision of Middle Earth from page to celluloid in Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, winning an Oscar in 2004 as part of the Art Direction team on The Return of the King. He is now designing the film of The Hobbit. Alan lives in South Devon.