author and biographer, born in London. His first book, a critical biography of Kingsmill, was followed by a two‐volume life of Strachey (The Unknown Years, 1967; The Years of Achievement, 1968), a work which greatly contributed to a revival of interest in the Bloomsbury Group and to a new interest in the art of biography: it also achieved a remarkable recovery of the personality of Strachey's friend, the painter Dora Carrington (1893–1932). Other works include a two‐volume biography of Augustus John (1974, 1975), and his three‐volume biography of G. B. Shaw (The Search for Love, 1988; The Pursuit of Power, 1989; The Lure of Fantasy, 1991). Basil Street Blues (1999) and Mosaic (2004) record the decline and fall of the Holroyd family. He is married to Margaret Drabble.