Maura Laverty, née Kelly, was born in County Kildare, Ireland, and trained as a teacher. She moved to Spain at age 17 to work as a governess and later as a private secretary for Prince Antoine Bibesco, husband of the writer Elizabeth Bibesco. Eventually, she became a journalist and filed stories for Irish newspapers from Madrid. In 1928, on her return to Ireland, she married James Laverty, a fellow journalist, with whom she had three children; one of them was Barry Castle, who grew up to be an artist and illustrate some of her mother's work. She soon went to work as a journalist and broadcaster for the national radio station, RTÉ. Maura Laverty became a household name in Ireland during a time when very few women there participated in public life. Her first novel, Never No More (1942) received widespread acclaim. It was followed by others, such as Touched by the Thorn (aka Alone We Embark, 1943), the semi-autobiographical No More than Human (1944), and Lift Up Your Gates (1946). Some of her novels were banned in the Irish Republic for their frankness. She also wrote children's books, including The Cottage in the Bog (1946) and The Green Orchard (1949). She became the writer for Ireland's first television soap opera, Tolka Row, an adaptation of her play Liffey Lane; it originally aired from 1964 to 1968. She also had a great interest in food and cooking, and wrote several cookbooks, beginning during World War II with Flour Economy (1941). Full & Plenty, first published in 1960, is still popular in many Irish households.