James Baldwin (1841 – 1925) was born in United States, in Indiana. For eighteen years he served as the superintendent of Indiana's school system. Afterwards he went on to become a well-known and widely published textbook editor and children's author. Among the others, main subjects of his writings were legends, mythology, biography, literature. He wrote more than fifty pieces of work, the most famous of which include Fifty Famous Stories Retold (1896) and Abraham Lincoln, a True Life (1904).
Dick Whittington and His Cat is an English folk tale included in Fifty Famous Stories Retold. It tells of a poor boy living in the 14th century. He has a cat with extraordinary ratting abilities. Both boy and the cat are about to make to the top of their lives. The character of the boy is named after a real-life person, Richard Whittington, but the real Whittington did not come from a poor family and there is no evidence that he had a cat.