Katherine Cecil Thurston, née Madden, was born to a prominent family in Cork, Ireland. Her father served as the mayor of the city during her childhood. She was educated privately and began publishing her writing in well-known British magazines and periodicals in her early twenties. In 1901, she married Ernest Temple Thurston, another writer; the couple separated in 1907 and divorced in 1910. Mrs. Thurston became a highly popular and successful author in both Great Britain and the USA. She first became famous in 1904 with her bestseller John Chilcote, MP (known as The Masquerader in the USA), a political thriller that was adapted twice into successful plays and later into several films. She died suddenly at the age of 36.