Monica Dickens (1915-92) was born into a well-to-do London family and was the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. Chafing against her background and having been expelled from St Paul's Girls School, she trained as a domestic servant and her experiences inspired her first memoir, One Pair of Hands (1939). She then turned to nursing, and produced One Pair of Feet (1942). She wrote numerous novels and memoirs, and found huge popular recognition as creator of the TV and children's books series Follyfoot. In the 1950s she moved to the US, and remained there for much of her life, writing and doing humanitarian work - she founded the US branch of the Samaritans - before returning to the UK in 1985.