Margaret Rumer Godden was born Dec. 10, 1907, in Sussex, England. She was nine months old when her family moved to India, where her father ran a shipping line. She returned to London at age 20 to learn how to teach dance to children, and opened a school back in India. Returning to England while she was pregnant, she wrote her first book, "Chinese Puzzle," published in 1936. Her marriage to a stockbroker, Laurence Sinclair Foster, ended in 1941, leaving her penniless. In an effort to pay off her former husband's debts, Godden moved her family into a mountain cottage where she ran a school, made herbal teas for sale, and wrote books. Another novel of India, "The River," published in 1949, was one of her most acclaimed books and was made into a film by Jean Renoir in 1951. She returned to England to stay in 1945. Rumer Godden was the author of more than 60 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry, plays and non-fiction. She published her 21st novel, "Cromartie vs. the God Shiva," in 1997. Rumer Godden died a year later on November 8, 1998, in Thornhill, Scotland, at the age of 90.
Phyllis Tickle is Contributing Editor in Religion for "Publishers Weekly". One of America's most respected authorities on religion, she is frequently interviewed for both print & electronic media, & is a regular guest on PBS's "Religion & Ethics News Weekly." The author of more than two dozen books, including the recently published "Divine Hours", she lives in Lucy, Tennessee.