Frank Arthur Swinnerton (1884-1982) was born in Wood Green, London, on 12 August 1882. He left school at the age of 14 and became a clerk at J.M. Dent, publishers, then reader at Chatto and Windus, where he discovered Daisy Ashford's The young visiters . He embarked on a career as a full time novelist and settled in the village of Cranleigh, Surrey. Swinnerton wrote nearly fifty books, starting with The merry heart in 1909 and ending with Arnold Bennett: a last word in 1978. His most famous books were Nocturne (1917) and The Georgian literary scene (1935). He knew many contemporary writers and publishers, and was especially close to Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells and Martin Secker. He was closely involved with the journal John O'London's weekly, writing 'Letters from Gog to Magog', and also wrote reviews for many publications, as well as making some radio broadcasts. He was President of the Royal Literary Fund between 1962 and 1966. Swinnerton married Mary Dorothy Bennett, and had one surviving child, Olivia.
Oliver Stonor, who wrote under the name of Morchard Bishop, collaborated with Frank Swinnerton on John O'London's weekly and frequently turned to Swinnerton for advice on his own relatively unsuccessful literary career. He wrote a number of books, the most successful of which was Blake's Hayley (1951).