Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England in 1939 and went to school at St John's. As a boy, his father read him stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others. Brian always loved to write and showed early talent, when at age 10, he wrote a story his teacher refused to believe was written by a 10-year-old. After Brian finished school, he set out at age fifteen to find adventure as a merchant seaman. Later he returned to Liverpool and had various jobs, including a fireman, a policeman, a postmaster, and a truck driver. It was for the children at a blind school to which he delivered milk, that he first started writing his highly descriptive and imaginary tales of Redwall. His work gained acclaim when a childhood English teacher, Alan Durband, secretly showed his work to a publisher. Jacques has said that the characters in his stories are based on people he has known well, or encountered in his travels. He and his wife had two sons, and two grandchildren. He passed away in February, 2011.
Author's Comment: My favourite teacher was Mr. Austin Thomas. He looked like Lee Marvin. Big Man. A Captain in World War II. He came to school on a big push bike with the haversack on back. He was a man's man. Always fair. I was fourteen at the time when Mr. Thomas introduced the class to poetry and Greek literature. It was because of him, I saved seven shillings and sixpence to buy The Iliad and The Odyssey at this dusty used book shop.