Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin, and went to school at the Holy Child Convent in Killiney. She took a history degree at UCD and taught in various girls' schools, writing travel articles in the long summer holidays. In 1969 she joined the Irish Times and for many years she was based in London writing humorous columns from all over the world. She is the author of five collections of short stories as well as twelve novels including Circle of Friends, The Copper Beech, Tara Road, Evening Class and The Glass Lake. Maeve Binchy died on 30 July 2012. She is survived by her husband, the writer Gordon Snell.