Alain-Fournier, christened Henri Alban, was born in La Chapelle d'Angillon (Cher) in 1886, the son of a country school-master. He was educated at Brest and in Paris, where he met and fell in love with the original Yvonne, who influenced his whole life and work. The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) was published in 1912. Les Miracles appeared posthumously in 1924. Alain-Fournier's important correspondence with Jacques Riviere and his letters to his family were published in 1926 and 1930 respectively. Alain-Fournier was killed in action on the Meuse in 1914. Robin Buss is a writer and translator who works for the Independent on Sunday and as television critic for The Times Educational Supplement. He is part-author of the article 'French Literature' in Encyclopaedia Britannica and has published critical studies of works by Vigny and Cocteau, and three books on European cinema, The French Through Their Films (1988), Italian Films (1989) and French Film Noir (1994). He has also translated a number of volumes for Penguin Classics. Adam Gopnik is a New Yorker staff writer and author of the recently published Paris To The Moon.