Hilde Spiel left her native Vienna for England in 1936 but returned after World War Two and had a distinguished career as a cultural correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Guardian and The New Statesman. Spiel wrote novels, works of cultural history, volumes of essays and literary criticism and translated the works of modern British writers including W.H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene and Tom Stoppard.