Margaret Drabble

Margaret Drabble

Novelist, biographer and critic...

Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield on 5 June 1939. She was educated at the Mount School, a Quaker boarding school in York, and read English at Newnham College, Cambridge. She became an actress and worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon before her first novel, A Summer Birdcage, the story of the relationship between two sisters, was published in 1963.

Her other novels include The Garrick Year (1964), set in the theatre world; The Millstone (1965), winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, in which a young academic becomes pregnant after a casual relationship; Jerusalem the Golden (1967), winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), about a young woman from the north of England at university in London; The Waterfall (1969), a formally experimental narrative; The Needle's Eye (1972), winner of the Yorkshire Post Book Award (Finest Fiction), the story of a young heiress who gives away her inheritance; and The Realms of Gold (1975), about a prominent archaeologist juggling the different aspects of her life. The Ice Age (1977) examines the social and economic plight of England in the mid-1970s while in The Middle Ground (1980) a journalist is forced to take-stock of her life.

The Radiant Way (1987), A Natural Curiosity (1989) and The Gates of Ivory (1991) form a trilogy of novels describing the experiences of three friends living through the 1980s. The Witch of Exmoor (1996) is a portrait of contemporary Britain. The Peppered Moth (2001) explores four generations in one family beginning with Bessie Bawtry's childhood spent growing up in a South Yorkshire mining town at the beginning of the twentieth century.

She is a former Chairman of the National Book League (1980-82), and was awarded the CBE in 1980. She received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973, and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Sheffield (1976), Manchester (1987), Keele (1988), Bradford (1988), Hull (1992), East Anglia (1994) and York (1995).

Margaret Drabble is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd and lives in London and Somerset. Her sister is the novelist and critic A. S. Byatt.

Fact file

Name: Margaret Drabble

Date of birth: 5.6.1939

Place of birth: Sheffield

Current Home: London and Somerset

Education: Newnham College, Cambridge

Similar Authors: AS Byatt, Helen Dunmore, Anita Brookner,

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The Pattern in the Carpet

The Pattern in the Carpet

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More books by Margaret Drabble

The Sea Lady

The Sea Lady (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 352 pages
Published: 02/08/2007
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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The most recent novel by Margaret Drabble, The Sea Lady tells a story of first and last love, of evolution and the ebb and flow of time that gives... Read more

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The Peppered Moth

The Peppered Moth (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 400 pages
Published: 28/06/2001
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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It is 1905, and Bessie is a small child living in a South Yorkshire mining town. Unusually gifted, she sits quietly and studies hard, waiting for... Read more

£17.99

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A Natural Curiosity

A Natural Curiosity (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 320 pages
Published: 01/11/1990
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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Liz, Alix and Esther are old friends whose lives continue to cross and uncross. As the years pass, they are more than ever disposed to question, to... Read more

£14.99

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The Red Queen: A Transcultural Tragicomedy (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 368 pages
Published: 04/08/2005
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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Set in 18th century Korea and the present day, Margaret Drabble's The Red Queen is a rich and atmospheric novel about love, and what it means to... Read more

£9.99

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A Summer Bird-cage

A Summer Bird-cage (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 208 pages
Published: 26/04/1973
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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Two sisters: beautiful, sophisticated Louise and attractive, witty and intelligent Sarah who has always felt left behind. Then Louise marries the... Read more

£10.99

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The Millstone - Penguin Decades

The Millstone - Penguin Decades (Paperback)

by Margaret Drabble

Format: Paperback 176 pages
Published: 01/04/2010
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

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This is a celebration of the drama and intensity of the mother-child relationship, Margaret Drabble's The Millstone won the John Llewellyn Rhys... Read more

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