The Times of London called Alison Plowden "a writer who made history engaging and readable." She was born in the British Raj in Quetta (now in Pakistan) and through her father, Miles Plowden, was a descendant of the famous Elizabethan jurist Edmund Plowden. Her other ancestor Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, was a co-founder of All Souls College at Oxford in 1438. She was educated at a private school in England and by a governess and was presented at Court. She began her career at the BBC as a secretary before becoming a script writer. She went on to author numerous works on Tudor and Stuart history, with a special emphasis on the women of the period.