Margaret Irwin (1889-1969) was educated at Clifton High School in Bristol, and then at Oxford University. She began writing books and short stories in the early 1920s. She married children's author and illustrator John Robert Monsell in 1929. Irwin was praised for her historical accuracy in her novels, and she wrote passionately about the English Civil War. In The Proud Servant she caused generations to fall in love with the ill-fated but charismatic Earl of Montrose, Charles I's Commander in Scotland.