Alice Jane Taylor was born and raised in rural Derbyshire and educated at a local grammar school and at Manchester University, where she became only the second woman honors graduate. She did postgraduate studies at Cambridge to qualify as a teacher. In 1911, she married James Uttley, a scientist. After her husband’s suicide, Alison Uttley took up writing to support herself and her son and produced the popular work The Country Child (1931), a fictionalized account of her childhood, illustrated by C.F. Tunnicliffe.
Although she also wrote for adults, Alison Uttley's best remembered works are her stories for children, for whom she invented the beloved characters of Little Red Fox, Little Grey Rabbit, and Brock the badger, among others. She was a prolific writer and published more than 100 books. She wrote her autobiography, Ambush of Young Days (1951).