Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) was born in Rugby, Warwickshire. She studied Modern History at Somerville College, Oxford and wrote her first novel, Abbots Verney in 1906. She was introduced to the London literary scene by her childhood friend Rupert Brooke, and her friends included Ivy Compton-Burnett, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann and Elizabeth Bowen. Macaulay became a celebrated writer who published over thirty works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in her lifetime, including Crewe Train and The World My Wilderness. She won the James Tait Black Memorial prize for her final novel, The Towers of Trebizond (1956) and was awarded the DBE in 1957.