Margaret Drabble was born June 5, 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
Her father, John Frederick Drabble, was a barrister, a county court judge and a novelist. Author A.S. Byatt is her older sister.
She attended the Mount School, York, a Quaker boarding-school and was awarded a major scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge, where she read English and received double honors (a "starred first"). After being graduated from Cambridge University, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford during which time she understudied for Vanessa Redgrave.
In 1960 she married her first husband, actor Clive Swift, who is best know for his role in the 1990 BBC television comedy "Keeping Up Appearances." They had three children in the 1960's and divorced in 1975.
She subsequently married the biographer Michael Holroyd in the early 1980's. They live in London and also have a house in Somerset.
Her novel The Millstone won the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize and she was the recipient of a Society of Author's Travelling Fellowship in the mid-1960's. She also received the James Tait Black and the E.M. Forster awards and was awarded the CBE in 1980
She is often described as being the author one should read to get a clear view of what it's like to live in England. This is true not only because of her non-fiction books "For Queen and Country" and "A Writer's Britain" but also for her novels. The English personalities of her characters are tangible in her novels which, through the decades, have also reflected the dramatic political, economic and social changes that have taken place in Great Britain.
There is a very interesting article in The New York Times which nicely portrays her and her husband.
(Note: you must be registed at the NY Times web site in order to read their articles.)