John Fowles was born in Essex, England, in 1926. He attended the University of Edinburgh for a short time, left to serve in the Royal Marines, and then returned to school at Oxford University, where he received a B.A. in French in 1950. Fowles taught English in France and Greece, as well as at St. Godric's College in London. Although the main theme in all Fowles's fiction is freedom, there are few other similarities in his books. He has deliberately chosen to explore a different style or genre for each novel: The Collector, his first novel, is an intellectual thriller; The Magus is an adolescent learning novel, tracing the emotional development of the central character; Daniel Martin tries, in the modernist style, to depict psychological reality; Mantissa is a comedic allegory that takes place entirely inside the narrator's head; Maggot combines mystery, science fiction, and history; and The Ebony Tower is a collection of short stories. Fowles explored yet another genre, historical fiction, with his best-known novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, which received the W. H. Smith Literary Award in 1970 and was made into a movie, starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, in 1981. An intriguing feature of this novel is that it has three different endings. Fowles's nonfiction includes Aristos: A Self Portrait in Ideas; Poems; and Wormholes: Essays and Other Occasional Writings. In addition, he has written the text for several books of photographs, including The Tree, for which Fowles received the Christopher Award in 1982. He died on November 5, 2005 at the age of 79.