Rachel Billington worked in television in London and New York before taking up full-time writing in 1968. Her first novel All Things Nice was set in sixties New York. Her latest novel for adults is Glory – a Story of Gallipoli which describes this dramatic WW1 campaign through the eyes of the participants and their wives and girlfriends at home. Her latest novel for children is Poppy’s Angel, a sequel to Poppy’s Hero.
Billington has written twenty two adult novels, including the best-selling A Woman’s Age and Bodily Harm and, more recently, A Woman’s Life, Lies and Loyalties, The Missing Boy and Maria and the Admiral. She has written six children’s novels, six religious books for children and three non-fiction books including The Great Umbilical, about mothers and daughters.
Billington was President of English PEN from 1998-2001 and remains a Vice-President. During her time as President she initiated PEN’s Readers & Writers Programme which sends books and writers to meet readers in schools, prisons and other institutions who lack resources.
She is also a Trustee of the Longford Trust, which organises a lecture each year on the subject of social or penal reform, gives a prize for those working in these areas and awards financial scholarships to ex-prisoners in university education.