John Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea. His first novel, The Collector (1963), was a bestseller. In 1965 The Magus was published, followed in 1969 by The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The 1981 film version, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter, starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, was nominated for five Oscars. His only book of poetry, simply called Poems, came out in the USA (but not in the UK) in 1973.