Margaret Cole, née Postgate, was educated at Roedean School and Cambridge University. She worked as a classics teacher at St. Paul's Girls' School. During World War I, she became a pacifist activist. In 1918, she married George Douglas Howard (G.D.H.) Cole, an economist and historian who shared her socialist views. They worked together for the Fabian Society before moving to Oxford in 1924 to teach and write. In the early 1930s, Margaret Cole abandoned her pacifism in reaction to the rise of fascism. She became a champion of education reform and a member of the Inner London Education Authority. She served as a Labour Party member of the London City Council as well. She wrote several books independently, including a biography of her husband. Together, the couple wrote many popular mystery novels.