Maeve Gilmore was raised in London, England, the daughter of a physician. She was educated at a convent boarding school at St. Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex, now Mayfield School. She then went to finishing school in Switzerland, where she learned German and French and became a good pianist. She enrolled at the Westminster School of Art, where she met her future husband, writer Mervyn Peake, on her first day. They married in 1937 and had three children. She became a painter and sculptor and also wrote short stories. She cared for her husband during his long struggle with Parkinson's disease. On his death in 1968, he left notes for a fourth book in his Titus series of novels. Maeve used these to create a related novel herself and published it as Search Without End in 1980. Her poignant memoir of life with her husband, A World Away (1970), remains in print today.