|About the Book|
Denys James Watkins-Pitchford MBE was a British naturalist, childrens writer, and illustrator who wrote under the pseudonym BB and also used D.J. Watkins-Pitchford.Denys Watkins-Pitchford was born in Lamport, Northamptonshire on the 25th July 1905. He was the second son of the Revd. Walter Watkins-Pitchford and his wife, Edith. His elder brother, Engel, died at the age of thirteen. Denys was himself considered to be delicate as a child, and because of this was educated at home, while his younger twin, Roger, was sent away to school. He spent a great deal of time on his own, wandering through the fields, and developed a love of the outdoors, which was to influence his writing. He had a great love of the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and drawing, all these things were to influence his writing greatly. At the age of fifteen, he left home and went to study at the Northampton School of Art. He won several prizes while there, but was irked by the dry, academic approach, and longed to be able to draw from life.While at the Northampton School of Art, Denys won a travelling scholarship to Paris. He was later to say that he could not remember how long he had spent in Paris, but Quinn suggests (p. 50) that it was probably about three months. He worked at a studio in Montparnasse, and attended drawing classes. It is unknown exactly where he studied. In the autumn of 1924, he entered the Royal College of Art in London. In 1930 he became an assistant art master at Rugby School where he remained for seventeen years. While at Rugby School he was to begin contributing regularly to the Shooting Times and start his career as an author and illustrator. He wrote under the nom de plume of BB, a name based on the size of lead shot he used to shoot geese, but he maintained the use of his real name as that of the illustrator in all his books. He later illustrated books by other writers, and sold his own paintings locally.