Born in 1893, Dorothy Whipple (née Stirrup) had an intensely happy childhood in Blackburn as part of the large family of a local architect. Her close friend George Owen having been killed in the first week of the war, for three years she worked as secretary to Henry Whipple, an educational administrator who was a widower twenty-four years her senior and whom she married in 1917. Their life was mostly spent in Nottingham; here she wrote Young Anne (1927), the first of nine extremely successful novels which included Greenbanks (1932) and The Priory (1939). Almost all her books were Book Society Choices or Recommendations and two of them, They Knew Mr Knight (1934) and They were Sisters (1943), were made into films. She also wrote short stories and two volumes of memoirs. Someone at a Distance (1953) was her last novel. Returning in her last years to Blackburn, Dorothy Whipple died there in 1966.