Ruth Barbara Rendell was born Ruth Barbara Grasemann, the only daughter of two teachers, Arthur Grasemann, and his Swedish wife, Ebba Elise Kruse Grasemann. Although her parents shared an interest in literature and the arts, their relationship was fraught, causing their lonely daughter to escape into an imaginative world. She had been born in an outer suburb of London, then moved farther out to Loughton, Essex, at the age of seven. She attended the local high school and, after graduating, decided to pursue journalism rather than attend a university.
Rendell worked for some years on local newspapers but felt increasingly restricted by the medium. When she had to report on an after-dinner speech at a local tennis club, she wrote up the whole speech without attending, only to find later that the speaker had dropped dead half way through it. Needless to say, she resigned. She met a fellow journalist, Don Rendell, and they married in 1950. She left journalism altogether in 1953 to raise her son, Simon. She then began writing fiction, as much for her own amusement as anything, also extending her own education. She unsuccessfully submitted several short stories for publication. When she submitted a comic novel, an editor responded, asking her to turn it into a detective novel. Thus, in 1964, emerged Inspector Wexford.
Rendell immediately began developing Inspector Wexford as a series, but at the same time began writing suspense novels about...
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