Angela Maria Helps was born on 14 April 1940, to a English civil servant and a German-born housewife. She wanted to be a writer from childhood. She read politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford. In 1962, she married Martin Lambert, they had a son a daughter, but the union ended five years later, when he left her with two young children to support. She also had other daughter with the Hungarian-born writer Stephen Vizinczey
In 1969, Angela began her career in journalism as an assistant editor at Modern Woman magazine, only to be sacked when she was pregnant. She later became a television journalist at ITN and then joined The Independent newspaper in 1988. She was the author of two volumes of British social history entitled Unquiet Souls: The Indian Summer of the British Aristocracy (1984), and 1939, The Last Season of Peace (1989). She also wrote seven novels, of which the best known was A Rather English Marriage (1992) which was later adapted for a television drama of the same title. Her last published work was a biography of Hitler’s mistress entitled The Lost Life of Eva Braun (2006). In 1998, her novel Kiss and Kin won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Angela suffered multiple immune disorders and hepatitis C (caught from a blood transfusion) which led to cirrhosis of the liver. Having survived a critical illness in February 2006, she never quite recovered, and became increasingly disabled. She lived in London and France (having bought a house in the Dordogne in 1972). She is survived by TV director Tony Price, her partner of 21 years, and by her son and two daughters.