Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole, CBE (13 March 1884 – 1 June 1941) was an English novelist. A prolific writer, he published thirty-six novels, five volumes of short stories, two plays and three volumes of memoirs. His skill at scene-setting, his vivid plots, his high profile as a lecturer and his driving ambition brought him a large readership in the United Kingdom and North America. A best-selling author in the 1920s and 1930s, his works have been neglected since his death. Walpole was born in Auckland, New Zealand, the eldest of three children of the Rev George Henry Somerset Walpole (1854–1929), Canon of St Mary's Cathedral, Auckland (later Bishop of Edinburgh from 1910 to 1929) and his wife, Mildred Helen née Barham (1854–1925). Walpole was educated at a series of boarding schools in England, principally at Truro School for two years, the King's School, Canterbury for two years and as a day boy for four years at Durham School, when his father was principal of Bede College at the university. Walpole's popular character Jeremy lived in the cathedral town of Polchester in Glebeshire, an amalgam of Truro and Durham, which featured in many of his later books.