Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 and, like her fictional characters in The Railway Children, her middle-class family was one whose fortunes declined. After surviving a tough and nomadic childhood she met and married her husband, Hubert Bland, in 1880 whilst pregnant with the couple's first child. Financial hardship was to dog Nesbit again when Bland's business failed, forcing her to write to support their burgeoning family. She only later in life focused on writing the children's stories for which she became so well known, including The Story of The Treasure Seekers (1899), The Wouldbegoods (1901), Five Children and It (1902) and The Railway Children (1906). She died in 1924.