Kathleen Mary Pearson, the daughter of a physician, was born in London and raised in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, the setting for her famous series of books about the Borrowers. She was educated in a convent school and trained as an actress with The Old Vic Company in London. In 1927, she married Robert Norton, with whom she had four children. At the beginning of World War II, Mary Norton worked for the British War Office in London, then for two years in the USA for the British Purchasing Commission. It was during this time that she began to write her stories, based on tales she told her own children. Her first book was The Magic Bed-Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (1943). After the war, she returned to England with her family and continued writing and acting. Her sequel to the first book, Bonfires and Broomsticks, appeared in 1947; the two stories were later combined into a single volume, Bed-Knob and Broomstick (1957) and adapted into a 1971 Disney film, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." The Borrowers (1952) earned Mary Norton a Carnegie Medal and quickly became a children’s classic. Therer were four sequels, The Borrowers Afield (1955), The Borrowers Afloat (1959), The Borrowers Aloft (1961), and The Borrowers Avenged (1982). The Borrowers tales were adapted for television in the early 1970s and again in 1992, and filmed in 1997. She married her second husband, Lionel Bonsey, in 1970, and lived in Devonshire.