Michael Holroyd was born in 1935 and educated at Eton College. His lives of Hugh Kingsmill, Lyton Strachey, Augustus John and George Bernard Shaw have established him as one of the most influential biographers of modern times. His family autobiography, Basil Street Blues (1999) garnered the greatest number of non–fiction and end–of–year critics' choices that year. A past chairman of the Society of Authors, the Royal Society of Literature and Book Trust, past president of English PEN and a former member of the Arts Council, Michael Holroyd has lectured around the world for the British Council and at literary festivals. He is married to the novelist Margaret Drabble and lives in London and Somerset.