Angela Thirkell, grand-daughter of pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, was born in London in 1890. She began writing novels in 1930 to support herself and her sons. She produced a new book almost every year for the rest of her life. Her stylish prose and deft portrayal of human comedy in the imaginary county of Barsetshire have delighted readers for decades. She died in 1961 aged 70.