Lewis Carroll, Michael Foreman - Author Picture

Lewis Carroll, Michael Foreman - Authors


Lewis Carroll is well known throughout the world as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Behind the famous pseudonym was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematical lecturer at Oxford University with remarkably diverse talents.

Born in 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, he spent his early life in the north of England (at Daresbury, Cheshire and in Croft, Yorkshire). He spent his adult life in Oxford and died at Guildford in 1898. Besides the Alice books, he wrote many others including poems, pamphlets and articles. He was a skilled mathematician, logician and pioneering photographer and he invented a wealth of games and puzzles which are of great interest today. Through his range of talents he has acquired great respect and has a large following.


Michael Foreman is without doubt one of the foremost children’s book author/illustrators of the last 100 years. 2010 is the year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first book being published and that book, The General, is now available in a terrific new edition.

Michael Foreman was born in an English fishing village. His mother ran the village shop. While he never had children's books, he did get to read the newspapers and magazines sold in the shop.

At the age of fifteen, Michael Foreman began to study art. His first children's book was published while he was still a student. Since then he has written and/or illustrated many, many children's books. He has also worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, and TV ads.

Michael Foreman and Michael Morpurgo have collaborated on many books. Here’s what they say of each other:

Michael Morpurgo on Michael Foreman: ‘Michael is quiet and calm I don't think he even shouted when I sat beside him at a football match. He's also a bit older than me he remembers the war from when he was a boy while I don't. I envy him for that. We are of the same generation although we've come from different backgrounds and different homes. It's nice growing old together; we have a sort of comradeship. Michael loves to travel and we have a lot of fun travelling together; we're a couple of kids we go on adventures together. But not all of the trips are fun. We went to Ypres in Belgium and went to a museum in Flanders Field. There was a letter written on the wall from the War Office to a mother whose son was shot for cowardice. I just imagined how awful it would have been for that mother at that moment. It moved me enormously. Normally Michael and I are chatty but neither of us could speak we just walked off in separate directions. It sounds bizarre, but that moment, as we walked away from each other, I felt closest to him because we were dealing with the same stuff. We share silences well maybe that's the secret. It's the test of true friendship when you don't always have to talk’.

Michael Foreman on Michael Morpurgo: ‘My friendship with Michael the "other one", as I call him was immediate. We've been close friends ever since that first book; in fact, more like brothers. Michael is warm, generous and has a tremendous spirit. He has a hand-on-heart warmth. That's why children like him so much’. Michael has worked on more than 170 books, over 20 of which he wrote himself, including some autobiographical stories of his childhood during and just after World War Two. These are wonderful books to share with your children. He has two children and lives with his wife Louise in London and Cornwall.


Michael delivered the newspapers. One of the houses on his round belonged to a teacher at the Lowestoft Art School. He asked Michael and his friends to dig clay from the cliffs for his sculpture class and, when he started a Saturday morning class for children, he invited Michael to come along. Michael showed such promise that his teacher encouraged him to ask at school if he could go to the Art school for one afternoon a week. His supportive headmaster said that he should go for two! Michael went full-time from the age of 15.

Michael also took the Graphics course at the Royal College of Art where he received a first class honours degree and a silver medal. He also won a travel scholarship to America. He worked in the USA and on his return to England as a magazine Art Director. He also continued working on books for children. His early works had unusually strong political themes – pacifism (War and Peas), inequality (All The King’s Horses), conservation (Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish).

Amongst Michael’s most personal creations is his trilogy of books War Boy, War Game and After The War Was Over. These much-loved, award-winning books draw on Michael’s own experience of World War Two (War Boy) and its aftermath (After The War Was Over), and his family’s experience of World War One (War Game). In the words of Publishers Weekly, there is a “heartbreaking clarity” to these books which are as powerful as any Great War literature.

Michael is equally passionate about Cornwall, where he now lives for part of the year. “At the first sight of the real Cornwall, the land beyond Hayle, a washed clean coast, I felt I had come home. This was where I wanted to grow old.”

“I have to be drawing otherwise I’m wasting my time. I love writing but it has to be done in situations where I couldn’t possibly be doing anything else – on planes, or waiting for people.”

“I do a lot of research when I’m travelling – I find it thrilling to discover the particular ‘art’ of different landscapes and work them into a book. But I find I have to travel by myself, otherwise I’m constantly getting involved in other people’s impression of a place… I try to be invisible when I’m travelling, so I tend to listen in on conversations rather than participate in them – I just want to look and draw.”

“Pictures offer a way of looking at and interpreting the text from a different angle. What you do is provide an image that makes the book work better rather than necessarily illuminating the text.”

“I’m always conscious of putting in things a child hasn’t yet understood or experienced. That way, they ask questions of adults and then it becomes a shared experience.”

“The thing that gives me most pleasure in being an illustrator now is that almost everything I do in the normal course of life has a bearing on the work in progress. It’s all totally enmeshed, and anything that affects you in the newspapers or on television or in your own personal experience can be a jumping off point.”

“Of all the author-illustrators who have dominated English children’s books, Michael Foreman is perhaps the master of the philosophical story – as well as being a superb illustrator.” Books For Your Children

“When he illustrates a book you can be sure it will be full of humour and surprising twists.” Sainsbury’s The Magazine

“What Arthur Rackham did for children’s books early in this century Michael Foreman is doing for those of today.” Scotland on Sunday

“Michael Foreman’s picture books are a profile of an era.” Wilson Library Bulletin

“Rich in universal truths.” The Bookseller on After The War Was Over

“This is a book which children can grow up with.” Books For Your Children on Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish

“Michael Foreman has set the pace in conservation books.” Nursery World on Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish

“An irresistible collaboration between well-known author Madhur Jaffrey and acclaimed illustrator Michael Foreman… Foreman’s illustrations have a lightness of touch which children will love.” East on Seasons of Splendour: Tales, Myths and Legends of India

“Unforgettably moving. Every school, primary and secondary, should have a copy – so should all Humanities departments.” Books For Keeps on War Game

“Michael Foreman has always been a consistently good writer and illustrator. This book is more than good – it is a classic of its kind.” The Independent on War Game

“Foreman draws the many sides of war with heartbreaking clarity as he transmutes the personal experiences of his uncles into a universal story.” Publishers Weekly on War Game

“Simply told, with poignant illustrations, War Game joins the ranks of classic books which tell the truth about war.” Time Out




Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

Favourite memory?

What are your hobbies?
I only have time for one hobby. Football.

If you hadn’t been a writer what do you think you would have been?
A fisherman.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Lewis Carroll, Michael Foreman

Michael Foreman's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll, Michael Foreman - illustrated by Michael Foreman
Lewis Carroll's world favourite children's classic, loved by generations for its limitless imagination, has been brought vividly to life by one of the UK's most awe inspiring children's book illustrators, Michael Foreman. Lewis Carroll's make-believe world that's full of humour,...
Lovereading Price: £11.99 - Saving £3.00 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/03/2010
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