H F M Prescott was born in Cheshire. Hilda Prescott read Modern History at Oxford and later received MA degrees there and at Manchester, as well as an honorary doctorate at Durham. She is best known for her historical novel THE MAN ON A DONKEY and her biography of Mary Tudor which won the James Tait Black Prize in 1941. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a committed member of the church of England, and her wide-ranging interests included travel and a deep love of the English countryside that lasted all her life. She died in 1972.