She read Modern History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Her first book was a biography of Louis IX in 1909.
In 1911 she married James Peck, a British civil servant, who was awarded a knighthood in 1938. They had three children.
In 1919 she began her novel-writing career which saw twenty-five books over a period of forty years, including House-Bound (1942) which was reprinted in 2007 by Persephone Books. She also wrote two books about her own childhood, A Little Learning (1952) and Home for the Holidays (1955).