Margaret Kennedy was born in London on 23 April 1896, the eldest of four children. Her first book, a commissioned work of history, was published in 1922 and was soon followed by her first work of fiction, The Ladies of Lyndon (1923). Her second novel, The Constant Nymph (1924), became a worldwide bestseller, and with it Kennedy became a well-known and highly praised writer. Kennedy went on to write fifteen further novels, many of which were critically commended – Troy Chimneys (1953) was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She also wrote plays, adapting both The Constant Nymph and its sequel The Fool of the Family very successfully. The former opened in the West End in 1926, starring Noel Coward followed by John Gielgud, to great acclaim. Three different film versions of The Constant Nymph, featuring stars of the time such as Ivor Novello and Joan Fontaine, were equally popular. She also published a study of Jane Austen (1950) and a work of literary criticism, The Outlaws on Parnassus, in 1958. Kennedy died 31 July 1967.