GAVIN MAXWELL (1914 – 1969) was born and raised in Scotland – a childhood he later wrote about in The House of Elrig (1965). After Oxford University and wartime service he bought the Hebridean island of Soay where he tried to establish a commercial shark fishery, an experience described in his first book Harpoon at a Venture (1952). In 1956 he travelled through Iraq with the explorer Wilfred Thesiger, later publishing A Reed Shaken By The Wind (1959), hailed as one of the finest works on Arabian travel. During this trip he encountered the Indian smooth-coated otter: previously unknown to the west, the animal was named after the author, Lutrogale perspicillata maxwelli. His other books include the sequels to Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain (1963) and Raven Seek Thy Brother (1968).