Dorothy Whipple, née Stirrup, grew up in Blackburn, England, in the large, close-knit family of Walter Stirrup, an architect, and his wife Ada. She worked as a secretary to Henry Whipple, an educational administrator who was a widower 24 years her senior; they married in 1917 and moved to Nottingham. Here she wrote Young Anne (1927), the first of nine successful novels that included High Wages (1930), Greenbanks (1932), The Priory (1939) and Because of the Lockwoods (1949). Two of them, They Knew Mr. Knight (1934) and They Were Sisters (1943) were adapted into British films. She also published collections of short stories, including The Closed Door and Other Stories and Every Good Deed and Other Stories, several children's books, and two volumes of memoirs. Someone at a Distance (1953) was her final novel.