Edward Frederic Benson was born on July 24, 1867 in Berkshire, the son of a future Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of six children. He studied at Kings College, Cambridge and at the British School of Archaeology in Athens. Benson's first book, Dodo, was published to popular acclaim in 1893 and was followed by over a hundred books, including novels, histories, biographies and ghost stories. In 1920 Benson became a full-time tenant of Lamb House in Rye, which had once been home to the novelist Henry James. Rye provided the setting for the Mapp and Lucia stories and their author served three terms as mayor of Rye in the late 1930s. E.F. Benson died on February 29, 1940.