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Alison Uttley was the pen name of Alice Jane Taylor, born and raised in rural Derbyshire. She was 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, she took up writing to support herself and her son under the name Alison Uttley and produced the popular work The Country Child (1931), a fictionalized account of her own childhood, illustrated by C.F. Tunnicliffe. Although she also wrote for adults, her best remembered works are her stories for children, for whom she invented the beloved characters of Little Red Fox, Little Grey Rabbit, Sam Pig, Little Brown Mouse, and Brock the Badger, among others. She was a prolific writer and published more than 100 books, including the classic A Traveller in Time (1939). She wrote about 20 volumes of memoirs as well as her autobiography, Ambush of Young Days (1951).
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