Joanna Trollope was born in her grandfather, Anthony Trollope's rectory in
the Cotswolds in December 1943, and although her actual childhood was spent in
the Midlands and in Surrey, she always felt that her real "home" was her
birthplace. Joanna says It gave me - still gives me - not just a sense of
rootedness, but a capacity to value landscape and weather and the rich life of
smallish communities. It wouldn't matter where I lived now, I'd always carry
that centred feeling of having come from somewhere very well defined with me.
She is the eldest of three, the mother of two daughters, the stepmother of two
stepsons, and a grandmother.
After winning a tiny scholarship to Oxford, she went on to a spell in the Foreign Office and then became a teacher. She began writing 'to fill the long spaces after the children had gone to bed' and for many years combined her writing career with working as a teacher. before becoming a full time author in 1980.
As Caroline Harvey she wrote eight historical fiction novels between 1980 and 2000. As herself she has written about 20 novels, some historically based, but since the publication of The Choir in 1988 all her novels have been in contemporary settings. The Rector's Wife (1991) was her first number one bestseller, making her a household name in Britain. She is also the author of the nonfiction Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire.
She is actively involved with six charities including being the Patron of the March Foundation and for Dementia.
She has been married twice and now lives alone dividing her time between London and Oxford.
This article is from the March 8, 2007 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.
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