Charles Dudley Warner was born in Massachusetts in 1829. After practicing law in Chicago, he moved to Connecticut and became an associate editor and publisher of The Hartford Courant. In addition to writing travel essays for the Courant and for Harper's magazine, as well as several novels, he collaborated with Mark Twain on The Gilded Age. He died in 1900. Michael Pollan is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Botany of Desire, and Second Nature, named one of the best gardening books of the twentieth century by the American Horticultural Society. He is a contributing editor to Harper's magazine and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Pollan chose the books for the Modern Library Gardening series because, as he writes, "these writers are some of the great talkers in the rich, provocative, and frequently uproarious conversation that, metaphorically at least, has been taking place over the back fence of our gardens at least since the time of Pliny."
"Warner's book might have been written last week. The language feels timeless, direct to the point of seduction." --Allan Gurganus
"The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions. . . . Mudpies gratify one of our first and best instincts. So long as we are dirty, we are pure." --Charles Dudley Warner