Nat is a young actor who has travelled from America to rehearse and perform as Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". As the rehearsals intensify, Nat's health begins to fail and soon the rest of the cast are horrifed to hear that he has been rushed to hospital, suffering from the Bubonic Plague.
Susan Mary Cooper (born 1935) is an English-born American author of children's books. She is best known for The Dark Is Rising, a five-volume contemporary fantasy series set in England and Wales, which incorporates British mythology, such as the Arthurian legends, and Welsh folk heroes. For that work, she won in 2012 the lifetime Margaret A. Edwards Award, which the American Library Association annually confers upon an author and specified writings for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature".
Susan Cooper. Wikipedia.