Mary Borden was born to a wealthy family in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Vassar College in 1907 and then went on a world tour. In 1908, she married George Douglas Turner, a Scottish missionary she met on her travels, and the couple had three daughters and lived in England. Under the pen name Bridget Maclagan, she published two novels, The Mistress of Kingdoms (1912) and Collision (1913). At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, she financed the establishment of a field hospital in France in which she herself served as a nurse. There she met Brigadier General Edward Louis Spears, who became her second husband in 1918 after a divorce. She went on to publish a graphic account of her experiences in the war, The Forbidden Zone (1929), as well as a volume of poetry, a collection of short stories, the controversial book The Techniques of Marriage (1933), and several more novels, including Action for Slander (1937), which was adapted into a film. During World War II, she ran a mobile field hospital in the Middle East and wrote about it in Journey Down a Blind Alley (1946). In the 1950s, she often travelled to the USA, in part to visit her nephew Adlai Stevenson, for whom she wrote some speeches. See also To War with Whitacker, The Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly 1939-45; and A Woman of Two Wars: The Life of Mary Borden by Jane Conway (2010).