Roland Allen grew up in London, UK, and studied English at Manchester University. After a couple of false starts, he started keeping a regular diary in his mid twenties; this sparked an interest in journals, sketchbooks, and notebooks of all kinds, and eventually prompted him to ask the question: where do notebooks come from? The answer surprised him, as did the dawning realization that notebooks had played a more important role in history than he had suspected. He has two children, and lives in Brighton, UK, with his wife, son, and dog, and probably enjoys stationery a little too much.