Rose Macaulay was born at Rugby in 1881, where her father was an assistant master, but much of her childhood was spent in Varazze, near Genoa. The family returned to England in 1894 and settled in Oxford. She read History at Somerville. Her writing career spanned fifty years, beginning in 1906 with the publication of her novel Abbots Verney. When her sixth novel, The Lee Shore (1912), won a literary prize, a gift from her uncle allowed her to rent a tiny flat in London, and she plunged happily into London literary life. Her most successful novel was the James Tait Black Memorial Prize-winning The Towers of Trebizond (1956). She died in 1958.