Lucy Walford, née Colquhoun, was born at Portobello, near Edinburgh, Scotland, a daughter of sportsman John Colquhoun of the family of baronets of Colquhoun, and his wife Frances Sarah Fuller Maitland. Both of her parents were writers, as was her aunt Catherine Sinclair. She was educated at home by governesses. In 1869, she married Alfred Saunders Walford, with whom she had seven children. Mrs. Walford achieved such public fame with her first novel Mr. Smith: A Part of His Life (1874) that she was taken to Windsor Castle to be presented to Queen Victoria. She worked for two years as the London correspondent of the New York Critic, and wrote more than three dozen popular novels as well as short fiction. She also produced two volumes of personal memoirs entitled Recollections of a Scottish Novelist (1910) and Memoirs of Victorian London (1912).