About the Authors
Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.
Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), English author, mathematician, and photographer. One of eleven children of a scholarly country parson, he studied mathematics at Oxford, obtained a university post, and then was ordained as a deacon but found true success with his masterpiece, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, now known as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which originated as a story told to a young friend, Alice Liddell, during a boating trip on the Thames. Among his other works are Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, The Hunting of the Snark, and Jabberwocky.
Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker and a washerwoman. As a young teenager, he became quite well known in Odense as a reciter of drama and as a singer. When he was fourteen, he set off for the capital, Copenhagen, determined to become a national success on the stage. He failed miserably, but made some influential friends in the capital who got him into school to remedy his lack of proper education. In 1829 his first book was published. After that, books came out at regular intervals. His stories began to be translated into English as early as 1846. Since then, numerous editions, and more recently Hollywood songs and Disney cartoons, have helped to ensure the continuing popularity of the stories in the English-speaking world.
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm was a German philologist, jurist, and mythologist. He is known as the discoverer of Grimm’s law (linguistics), the co-author with his brother Wilhelm of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the author of Deutsche Mythologie and, more popularly, as one of the Brothers Grimm and the editor of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
About a full cast
Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.