Winifred Eveleen Bourne was born in Germany, attended secondary school in England, and went on to Cambridge University. She was married twice, firstly to Eugene Gérin, a native of Belgium, and then in 1954 to John Lock. During World War II, Winifred Gérin worked for the political intelligence department of the British Foreign Office. She began writing after her second marriage. She wrote some plays for the BBC, but is best known as the biographer of the Brontë sisters and brother, as well as The Young Fanny Burney (1961), Horatia Nelson (1970), Elizabeth Gaskell (1976) -- for which she received the Whitbread Award -- and Anne Thackeray Ritchie (1981). Winifred Gérin also received other prestigious literary awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.