Today is the centenary of the birth of Laurie Lee.
He's best known for his autobiographical trilogy, Cider With Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, and A Moment of War. The first of these is the book that made him famous, and if you've not read it, it's the story of Lee's childhood in the English countryside in the 1920s. I read it at school, and loved it.
The second book tells how he left the village and travelled across Spain, and the third is about his experiences with the International Brigade fighting against Franco's Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War.
Cider With Rosie was published in 1959 and its success meant that Lee could give up work and become a full-time writer. He was also able to buy a house in his childhood village and he remained there until his death in 1997.
And I love this little story about him that I found on Wikipedia.
In the 1960s, Laurie Lee and his wife returned to Slad to live near his childhood home, where they remained for the rest of his life. Lee revealed on the BBC1 Wogan Show in 1985 that he was frequently asked by children, visiting Slad as part of their O-Level study of Cider with Rosie, enquiring "where Laurie Lee was buried" assuming that the author was dead.
Updated to add a piece written about him on the BBC website
Laurie Lee (1914-1997)