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Brian Jenkins was born in Cardiff, Wales. His early schooling there was expanded by the British Army and Cambridge University, where he studied history, rowed, and did postgraduate work in education.

He became a civil servant before deciding on a teaching career, which eventually took him to Blundell's School as Head of Department and Director of Studies. 

He wrote The Removal of Blundell's: Town and Gown in 19th Century Tiverton and has published several articles and reviews on Devon history.

Now in semi-retirement, his activities are confined to writing, lecturing, walking the nearby moors and cliff paths, playing the organ of the village church, and maintaining the garden, fabric, and wine cellar of the old Devon rectory, where he lives with his wife, Catherine, who is busier by far. They have three sons and one granddaughter and have just celebrated forty years of marriage.