Mary Agnes Hamilton, née Adamson, was born in Withington, a suburb of Manchester, one of six children of Robert Adamson, a professor of logic at Glasgow University. She graduated with an honours degree in economics from Cambridge University. She embarked on a career as a journalist and writer to support herself after a failed marriage. She wrote several novels, beginning in 1916 with Dead Yesterday. She joined the Labour Party as a young woman, and after two failed campaigns, she was elected a Member of Parliament for Blackburn in 1929. She was appointed private secretary to Clement Attlee, then the Postmaster-General, and later the Prime Minister. Mary Agnes Hamilton also served as governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1933 to 1937. She was a prolific writer whose novels provided insight into the topics that concerned her in public life, such as politics, pacifism, and women's rights. Her many nonfiction works included books of history, geography, political analysis of the Labour Party and the trade unions, and biographies of several famous contemporaries. She also wrote two volumes of politically-charged memoirs entitled Remembering My Good Friends (1944) and Uphill All the Way (1953). She was awarded the CBE in 1949.