Germaine Greer was born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1939, the eldest child of two unhappy adults. Reg Greer, a minor playboy who worked on the fringes of advertising and claimed to be South African (he was actually born in Tasmania) had married a young, innocent woman named Peggy Lafrank.
Following a convent education, Germaine became a scholar of English literature, which she studied at university in Melbourne, Sydney and Cambridge.
She left Australia at the age of 23 and in 1968 she became a lecturer in English at the University of Warwick. While there, she wrote The Female Eunuch, a feminist study of male cultural domination. The book had a profound international impact when it was published in 1970.
Her other works include The Obstacle Race (a study of women artists through history), The Madwoman’s Underclothes (a collection of essays), Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984), The Change: Women, Ageing, and the Menopause (1991), Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet (1995) and The Whole Woman (1999).