Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940) was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury and member of a distinguished and eccentric family. After attending Marlborough and King's College, Cambridge where he studied classics and archaeology, he worked at the British School of Archaeology in Athens. One of our greatest humorists, he achieved great success at an early age with his first novel, Dodo (1893). He was a prolific author writing over a hundred books: serious novels, ghost stories, plays and biographies. But he is best remembered for his Lucia comedies written between 1920 and 1939 and other comic novels such as Paying Guests and Mrs Ames. He became mayor of Rye, the Sussex town that provided the model for his fictional Tilling, from 1934 to 1937.