G.B. (Gladys Bertha, later Gladys Bronwyn) Stern was born in London, England to a cosmopolitan, assimilated Jewish family. She wrote her first novel at age 20 and continued to produce one novel every year until 1964. She also wrote plays, including The Man Who Pays the Piper (1931), which was revived by the Orange Tree Theatre in London in 2013.
With Sheila Kaye-Smith, she wrote two books about Jane Austen, Talking of Jane Austen (1943) and More Talk of Jane Austen (1949). She also published short stories, literary criticism, biographies of Robert Louis Stevenson, and 10 volumes of memoirs and autobiography. Her 1938 novel The Ugly Dachshund was made into a film in 1966.
In 1919, she married Geoffrey Lisle Holdsworth, and sometimes collaborated on works with him.