Lord David Cecil (1902-1986) was a British biographer, academic and historian. He read Modern History at Oxford University where he later became a Fellow. He published his first book, a biography of the poet William Cowper, The Stricken Deer, in 1929; it went on to win the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize, and launched a brilliant literary career. Cecil went on to publish biographies of many other literary figures, including Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Shakespeare. He died in 1986.