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Caroline Moorehead was born in London and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of London in 1965. She is has written biographies of Bertrand Russell, Heinrich Schliemann, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, Martha Gellhorn, and aristocrat Lucie de la Tour du Pin. She also has written a number of nonfiction pieces centered on human rights, including a history of the International Committee of the Red Cross. She began a trilogy of books on the French Resistance in World War II with A Train in Winter (2011) which focuses on 230 French women of the Resistance sent to Auschwitz. Village of Secrets (2014) describes a wartime French village that helped 3,000 Jews to safety.

She has also written book reviews for various newspapers and reviews, including the Times Literary Supplement, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Spectator, and The New York Review of Books. She specialized in human rights as a journalist, contributing a column first to the Times and then the Independent, and co-producing and writing a series of programs on human rights for BBC television.

She has served on the committees of the Royal Society of Literature, of which she was elected a Fellow in 1993; the Society of Authors; English PEN; and the London Library. She was awarded an OBE for services to literature in 2005.
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