Rose Tremain: Biography

Rose Tremain

02 aug 1943

Rose Tremain is an English writer of novels and short stories and held the position of Chancellor of the University of East Anglia from 2013 to 2016. Tremain was born Rosemary Jane Thomson in London in 1943. Her grandfather, William Thomson, was a respected clergyman and became Archbishop of York in 1862, holding the post until 1890. Tremain attended the University of East Anglia were she graduated with a BA in English Literature. She then returned to the university as a teacher on their creative writing course from 1988 to 1995, eventually becoming chancellor in 2013.

Tremain has spoken of how she has taken great influence from the Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in particular his work 100 Years of Solitude. She has also taken inspiration from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

Tremain is best known for her works of historical fiction. Her work often draws from the style of magical realist writers and she focuses her novels on the people who history might usually forget: those on the outside fringes of the action. Her novels have won her many coveted prizes over the years, including the Orange Prize for The Road Home in 2008 and the Whitbread Award for Music and Silence in 1999.

Tremain has been married twice. In 1971 she married her first husband, Jon Tremain. Together they had a daughter who they named Eleanor. She went on to become a professional actress. Her marriage to Jon lasted just 5 years. In 1982 she re-married to man named Jonathan Dudley. She was married to Dudley for around 9 years. Since 1992 she has been involved with Richard Holmes, with whom she lives in Norfolk.