Barbara Pym was born in June 1913 in Oswestry, Shropshire. She read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and during the war she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens). Her novels include Excellent Women; Jane and Prudence; Less Than Angels; and Quartet in Autumn which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In a 1977 issue of The Times Literary Supplement, Barbara Pym was twice named (by Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil) as "the most underrated novelist of the century." She died in January 1980.