(1912 - 2002)

Mary Wesley was one of Britain’s most successful novelists. She found fame at the age of seventy after publishing her first adult novel Jumping the Queue in 1983. She went on to have a period of prolific creativity, writing a further nine bestsellers and selling three million copies of her books globally in the last twenty years of her life. 

Wesley was as famous for her late arrival to the literary world as she was for her distinctive style, delighting readers around the world with her ability to see life as it truly is – in all its complicated, wonderful glory. Her trademark wicked sense of humour, candid sexuality and emotional honesty is laced throughout her books. Wesley’s unique writing talent lies in her ability to scratch beneath the thin veneer of social expectations to expose a world full of complexity, intrigue, and larger-than-life characters.

So far, four of Wesley’s books have been adapted for TV: Jumping the Queue (1983), The Camomile Lawn (1984), Harnessing Peacocks (1985), and The Vacillations of Poppy Carew (1986). The Camomile Lawn, a 1993 BAFTA-winner directed by Sir Peter Hall, remains one of Channel 4’s most successful drama series of all time.