Dorothy Dunnett was born in 1923 in Fife, Scotland. She attended James Gillespie's High School for Girls where she was Intermediate Dux and specialised in art, leading to an early career as a professional portrait painter. At the same time she became an executive officer in the British Civil Service working first in Edinburgh and then moving to Glasgow. At her husband's suggestion, she began writing fiction in her late thirties and has now published 22 novels. Her first book, the bestseller Game of Kings was published in 1961 and was the first of the six-part Lymond series, set in the 16th century. She has since written a series of seven modern mystery novels featuring a yachtsman called Johnson, a single 11th century novel about Macbeth, King Hereafter, and a further series of historical novels called The House of Niccolo, set in the 15th century. The eighth and last book in this series is about to be published and will be celebrated later this year by international gatherings of readers in Edinburgh and Philadelphia, the latest of many formal and informal meetings of readers. All her novels have been published on both sides of the Atlantic and have been translated into many European languages. In 1984, readers of Dunnett's work in North America launched a regular private correspondence magazine which is now worldwide and published quarterly with subscribers in Australia and New Zealand. In recent years this has expanded to the Internet and is one of many sites which now discuss her work.