Hilda Graef was a German of Jewish and Protestant ancestry who found her way into the Catholic Church as a young adult through the writings of Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, and G.K. Chesterton. During World War II, Graef fled to London in order to escape the threat of the Nazis. While in London, she wrote from an attic home that she described as frequently shaken by bombs. Graef later moved to Oxford and worked as assistant to the editor of the Lexicon of Patristic Greek. She authored many books, including The Way of the Mystics and the first biography of Edith Stein.