Barry England was raised in a Roman Catholic household and studied at Downside School. He joined the army and served in the Far Eastern theatre.
He studied at RADA as a playwright, and around this time began writing pieces for magazines. The first of England’s plays to be produced was End of Conflict, which was staged at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in November 1961. The young Ian McKellen played one of the principal roles in this story of British soldiers serving in the Far East. The success of End of Conflict led to the Arts Council awarding a playwriting bursary to England.
Figures in a Landscape was England’s first novel and was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1969.