Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Sheffield and educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She had a very brief career as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before taking to fiction. Her first novel, A Summer Birdcage, was published in 1963, and her nineteenth and most recent, The Dark Flood Rises, in 2016. She also edited two editions of The Oxford Companion to English Literature (1985, 2000). She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd and lives in London and Somerset.