Howard Pyle was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1853. A Quaker, he attended the Friends' School in Wilmington. But he spent much of his time there "scrawling drawings on his slate and in his books." Realizing their son's lack of interest in studying, the Pyles gave up on the idea of sending Howard to college and instead encouraged him to study art. At sixteen, he began three years of daily commutes to Philadelphia in order to study under the Belgian artist Van der Weilen. These classes would be the only systematic training in art that Pyle would receive, but they provided a solid foundation in the technique of drawing.After three years of study, he set up a studio in Wilmington and helped his father in his leather business while beginning his fledgling career as an illustrator. His earliest work was published in Scribner's Monthly in 1876. He moved to New York, where he was associated to some extent with the Art Students' League of New York City. His early illustrations, short stories, and poems appeared in the leading New York periodicals between 1876 and 1879. He was, in fact, a well-known artist and writer for Harpers Weekly.In 1910, Pyle relocated his family to Florence, Italy, where he hoped to study and pursue the painting of murals. In November 1911, he suddenly became ill and died of a kidney infection at the age of fifty-eight.During his lifetime, Pyle wrote and illustrated the following works: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Nottinghamshire; Within the Capes; Pepper and Salt, or Seasoning for Young Folk; The Rose of Paradise; The Wonder Clock or Four and Twenty Marvelous Tales; Otto of the Silver Hand; A Modern Aladdin; Men of Iron, a Romance of Chivalry; Jack Ballister's Fortune; Twilight Land; and The Garden Behind the Moon. Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A twelve-time Audie finalist, Simon has won Audie Awards for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan. Winner of the 2008 Booklist Voice of Choice Award, Simon has also been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.