Barbara Comyns was born in 1909 and brought up in rural Warwickshire where she began writing and illustrating stories at the age of ten. She was one of six children. Her novel Sisters by a River records her childhood. Her first painful marriage broke down in 1935. Ten years later she married Richard Comyns Carr. Then began her flow of idiosyncratic novels, described as ‘pictures painted on glass’. She died in 1992.