Charis Chan, or Charis Dunn-Chan/Charis Dunn, was born in England, and studied Chinese at St Hilda's College, Oxford.
Postgraduate work on Chinese history was undertaken at Tianjin's Nankai University in the People's Republic of China.
Her love of Chinese buildings and their humanity of scale led to the book Imperial China, published by Penguin and Chronicle Books in 1990.
She has written other guides to China published by Collins and Odyssey. "All China" is still in print.
In her early years, Charis edited a recipe book for the Peninsula Group.
Latterly, she has worked as a journalist for the BBC both at the World Service in the Latin American Service, and at BBC Monitoring covering global news and Asian politics.
Charis now works as a yoga teacher in Poole in Dorset and freelances for the BBC.
She is also editing the journal of her great grandfather Rear Admiral Sir Richard Massie Blomfield for publication.