Adrian Bell (1901-1980) was born in Lancashire, grew up in London, and was educated at Uppingham School which he hated. His father, news editor of the Observer, was a republican and a socialist and had no truck with university education. His son was to do something useful; in 1920 he went to East Anglia to work as a farm apprentice. He subsequently became a farmer himself. These experiences provide the material for his famous rural trilogy, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree. In total he wrote over twenty-five books, he also set the first Times in 1930 and continued to devise crosswords for the paper for the next thirty years.