Mary Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895. She was one of five children born to the Anglican Bishop of Lewes and found vicarage life very restricting. During World War One, Noel and her siblings volunteered in hospital kitchens and put on plays to support war charities, which is where she discovered her talent on stage. She studied at RADA to pursue a career in the theatre and after ten years as an actress turned her attention to writing adult and children’s fiction. Her experiences in the arts heavily influenced her writing, most notably her famous children’s story Ballet Shoes which won a Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983. Noel Streatfeild died in 1986.