Claire Tomalin was born in London in 1933 to a French father and an English mother, the composer Muriel Herbert.
She read English at Cambridge, graduated from Newnham College in 1954 and is now an Honorary Fellow of the college.
She worked in publishing and journalism, becoming Literary Editor of the New Statesman and later the Sunday Times before devoting herself to writing full time in the late 1980s.
Her first husband, the journalist Nicholas Tomalin, was killed reporting the Yom Kippur war in 1973.
She has three children and three grandchildren.
She does occasional broadcasting and television, and made a South Bank Show film about Thomas Hardy with Melvyn Bragg. She has also organised exhibitions, one on Mrs Jordan at Kenwood, another on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley at the National Portrait Gallery, where she was a Trustee for ten years.
She has honorary doctorates from the following universities: Cambridge, UEA, Birmingham, The Open University, Greenwich, Goldsmiths and Roehampton.
She is married to the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.
A recording of songs by Muriel Herbert, performed by James Gilchrist and Ailish Tynan and accompanied by David Owen Norris, is available from Linn Records, Songs of Muriel Herbert (http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-songs-of-muriel-herbert-james-gilchrist-ailish-tynan.aspx)
Of course, you will know Claire Tomalin best for her books.
For the full range of Claire Tomalin's books, please visit amazon.co.uk