Margery Sharp (1905–1991) published fifteen novels for adults before writing The Rescuers (1959), her first book for children. Born Clara Margery Melita Sharp in Salisbury, England, she spent part of her childhood in Malta before returning to England for high school. By the time she graduated with honors in French from the University of London, she had already begun publishing short stories; her work would later become a fixture in such American and British magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Punch. Several of Sharp’s novels were serialized and a number became successful films, including Cluny Brown (screenplay by Ernst Lubitsch) and Britannia Mews (written by Ring Lardner, Jr.); the Rescuers series eventually numbered nine volumes and inspired two animated feature films from Disney.
The Mouse Prisoner’s Aid Society, here headed up by Miss Bianca, a pampered white mouse and Nils, the bravest mouse in the land go on assignment to rescue a famous poet from a dreadful black castle, where he is being imprisoned by the cruel cat Mamelouke. This story, here illustrated by the great Garth Williams, was the inspiration for a Disney animated film of the same name.