Benedict Blathwayt (b.1951)
Benedict Blathwayt was born in 1951 and as a child was greatly influenced by the books of Tintin and Rupert Bear. After leaving school he started out life working as an office boy at a firm of architects, but began painting from his own studio from the age of seventeen and throughout his life his work has been exhibited widely across the UK. He moved to the Isle of Mull, where he worked as a dairy farmer, and then later lived in Wales working for the Wildlife Conservancy.
All his books are drawn from his life and experience. Bramble the cow was inspired by his days in Scotland, The Little House By The Sea from his life in Wales, and Kip! recalls his two lovable dogs Nell and Sherpa. His first published book in 1984, with Hamish Hamilton, was Bruno’s Band, inspired by a family camping trip to Brittany, where they came across a South American music troupe.
His book Tangle and Fire Sticks was short-listed for the Smarties Book Award, but he is best known for the Bramble books, which sold over a million copies, along with the much-loved Little Red Train series, reaching almost a similar sales total. Ben continues to write and illustrate, published now by the independent Scottish publisher Berlinn, and works from his home studio in the heart of Exmoor in Devon, inspired by the view from his studio of the side orchard.