R.F. (Ronald Frederick) Delderfield was born in South London. The family moved to Devon when he was a child and he attended the West Buckland School. After leaving school, he became a junior reporter for his father's newspaper, the Exmouth Chronicle, and eventually rose to become its editor. He then began to write stage plays and became a highly successful novelist, renowned for his portrayals of slices of English life. His multi-novel sagas, including A Horseman Riding By (1966–1968), a trilogy consisting of Long Summer's Day, Post of Honour and The Green Gauntlet, made him one of Britain's most popular authors, and his books are still widely read. Many of his works were adapted for British television. His autobiography, For My Own Amusement, was published in 1972.