TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Margery Williams Bianco

Margery Williams Bianco was born in London in 1881. She was the daughter of a lawyer and scholar who believed children were better educated without formal schooling. As a result, Williams attended school for only a few years in both America and England, and was home-schooled instead. Her first novel, written for adults, was published when she was only 17 years old. She continued to write adult books until the 1920s.

The Velveteen Rabbit was Williams’ first attempt at writing for children. It has become her most well-known work and a children’s literature classic. Williams said, "Nothing is easier than to write a story for children; few things are harder, as any writer knows, than to achieve a story that children will really like."

About the story she said, "It was by a sort of accident that The Velveteen Rabbit became the beginning of all the stories I have written since… By thinking about toys and remembering toys, they suddenly become very much alive. Toys I had loved as a little girl — my almost forgotten Tubby, who was the rabbit, and Old Dobbin, the Skin Horse, and the toys my children had loved." Her daughter Pamela once remarked that her mother treated their toys as if they were real.

Williams’ writings, although not prolific, ranged widely, including translations, educational readers and a travel book about Paris. She died in 1944 after a three-day illness.