Margot Peters was born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin. She is the daughter of Edgar and Elsie McCullough. Her love of literature and writing, which is so evident in her published works, has its roots with her parents.
She is a Wisconsin author in the truest sense of the term. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are all from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The author has taught at Northland College in Ashland, and since 1963 has taught English literature at UW-Whitewater where she is now full professor. In addition, she had held the Kathe Tappe Vemon Chair of biography at Dartmouth College, has lectured at Harvard University, and served as the juror, for the American Book Award, the National Medal for Literature, and the Pulitzer Prize. Margot Peters' first book (1973) was a reworking of her Ph. D. thesis, Charlotte Bronte: Style in the Novel. This was followed (1975) by Unquiet Soul: A Biography of Charlotte Bronte for which she received the Friends of American Writers cash award for best work of prose that year. Bernard Shaw and the Actresses brought her the 1981 Banta Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. In 1985 she was again the recipient of both awards for Mrs. Pat: The Life of Mrs. Patrick Campbell. In addition to these books, she has written numerous essays on George Bernard Shaw, Charlotte Bronte, women's studies, biography, and detective fiction.
She is currently devoting full time to the completion of the first major critical biography of the "Royal Family" of the American theatre: Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore, which explores their theatre and film careers in a historical context. A 1987 Rockefeller Resident Fellowship at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research allowed the author access to important archival materials. Two additional grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the Wisconsin Institute for Fellowship Research in the Humanities enabled the author to take the 1988/89 academic year off from teaching to finish the Barrymore work. Margot Peters resides in Lake Mills with her husband Peter Jordan.
Courtesy of Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards Committee.