Diane Setterfield grew up in England, and attended Bristol University where she studied French Literature. She started her career in academia and taught in various universities in England and France, where she lived for several years. Prior to her first novel, The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield published several academic works about 19th and 20th century French literature, in particular the works of André Gide (a French writer, humanist, and moralist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947).
She left academia in the late '90s. She enjoyed teaching but hated university politics, and after five years was still working to pay off the loan she had taken out to fund her Ph.D. "I gave up my job to write before I knew what I wanted to write about," she says. "It might seem bold or brave, but really it comes down to how much you want to do something. If you want to do something so badly, then you have to make a bold decision." +/-