Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) was born and educated at Knole. She and her husband Harold Nicolson created the famous garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent.
Dan Santat is the Caldecott Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, as well as the illustrator of many other picture books, including Crankenstein by Samantha Berger. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.
Gerald Scarfe began his career in the sixties working for Punch and Private Eye before taking a job as a political cartoonist for the Daily Mail. He then worked for Time magazine in New York before starting his long association with the Sunday Times. He now draws weekly for the Evening Standard. His varied career has seen him work with Pink Floyd (The Wall, Wish You Were Here), Roger Waters and Eric Clapton (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking), Disney (Hercules), English National Ballet (The Nutcracker), Los Angeles Opera (Fantastic Mr Fox) as well as produce such iconic images as those for the titles of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. His work has featured in the New Yorker and various BBC TV films such as Scarfe on Sex and Scarfe on Class. Exhibitions of his paintings and drawings have appeared in the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He is viewed by many as both a national treasure and a genius.
Charles M. Schulz
Charles Monroe Schulz (1922 -2000) was a 20th-century American cartoonist best known for his Peanuts comic strip. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Dena and Carl Schulz. His nickname "Sparky" was given by his uncle, after the horse Spark Plug in the Barney Google comic strip. He attended St. Paul's Richard Gordon Elementary School, where he skipped two half-grades. As a result, he was the youngest in his class when he attended St. Paul Central High years later, which may have been the reason why he was so shy and isolated as a young teenager. After his mother died in February, 1943, he was drafted into the army and sent to Camp Campbell in Kentucky. He was then shipped to Europe two years later to fight in World War II. After leaving the United States Army in 1945, he took a job as an art teacher at Art Instruction Inc., which he attended before he was drafted. First published by Robert Ripley in his Ripley's Believe It or Not!, then in a series of chronicles, The Saturday Evening Post, his first regular comic strip, Li'l Folks was published in 1947 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. (It was in this strip that Charlie Brown first appeared, as well as a dog that looked much like Snoopy). In 1950 he approached the United Features Syndicate with his best strips from Li'l Folks, and Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950. This strip became one of the most popular comic strips of all time. He also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It's Only a Game (1957-1959), but abandoned that strip due to the demands of the success of Peanuts.
Ben Schwartz is an Emmy Award-winning writer, actor, and comedian. He's starred in the television shows House of Lies and Parks and Recreation as well as the films This Is Where I Leave You and The Walk. He is the co-author of the national bestseller Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals and its two sequels.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.
Doree Shafrir is a senior culture writer at BuzzFeed News and has written for New York Magazine, Slate, The Awl, Rolling Stone, Wired and other publications. A former resident of Brooklyn, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Matt Mira, a comedy writer and podcaster, and their dog Beau.
Karl Shaw has worked as a journalist, in advertising and in marketing. His books include New York Times bestsellers Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty and 5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists.
Andy Simpson is Readers' Letters editor at the Daily Mail.
Ben Smee is the Deputy Editor of the NT NEWS. He won a Walkley Award in 2014 for his coverage of Northern Territory politics during stints as the paper's Chief Political Reporter and Head of News. Ben is also the 2015 NT Journalist of the Year. He previously worked for the NEWCASTLE HERALD where he won awards for his investigations and news coverage, including being selected as a finalist for Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2009. CROCS IN THE CABINET is Ben's first book. He lives in Darwin.
Muriel Spark, D.B.E, C. Litt, was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet and novelist, she also wrote children's books, radio plays, a comedy, 'Doctors of Philosophy', first performed in London in 1962, and biographies. She is best known for her stories and many successful novels, including Memento Mori, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Loitering With Intent, The Comforters, A Far Cry from Kensington and The Public Image. For her long career of literary achievement, Muriel Spark won international praise and many awards, including the David Cohen British Literature Award, the T. S. Eliot Award, the Saltire Prize, the Boccaccio Prize for European Literature, the Gold Pen Award and the Italia Prize for dramatic radio. Muriel Spark was given an honorary doctorate of Letters from a number of universities, London, Edinburgh and Oxford among these. She died in 2006.
Sam Stall has authored or co-authored more than 20 books that span the realm of pop culture. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Jami and their son, James.
Amy Stephenson is a curly-haired human female and lipstick enthusiast who prefers whiskey. She's Booksmith's social media maven, the emcee of an untold quantity of literary events, and a sort of dry bartender for everyone who wants to tell her what the 60s were like. She's Shipwreck's co-creator and emcee, and a writer for Hoodline's Upper Haight channel, which was voted Best News Site in Best of the Bay (RIP) 2014. She tweets at @LoserTakesAll and for @Booksmith.
Neil Rafferty & Paul Stokes
The Daily Mash is the brainchild of journalists Neil Rafferty and Paul Stokes, who between them have more than 35 years of professional writing experience.
BARRY STONE has been a freelance writer and community arts activist for over two decades. His plays have bean performed on BBC Radio 4 and was the writer/co-producer of Blyth Valley Council's millennium play, Moses Brown is Waiting. A lifelong dog lover, Barry partly attributes his good physical health to the thousands of miles which he has clocked up whilst exercising the adored - and none too well behaved - dogs that have been a major part of his life. Barry has a young black Labrador called Bonzo when behaving ... and Asbo when misbehaving.
Liz Strachan taught mathematics for 36 years in her home town of Montrose, Scotland. She has had over a hundred articles and short stories published and won a scholarship from the Scottish Association of Writers in 2008.
Elisa Strauss is the founder and head designer of Confetti Cakes in New York City. A former designer for Ralph Lauren, Strauss is famous for her imaginative and elaborate cakes. Her work has been featured in dozens of magazines, as well as on Good Morning America, the Today show, Martha: The Martha Stewart Show, The View, and the Food Network