Dorothy Dunnett was born on August 25, 1923 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. She attended Gillespie's High School for Girls. After graduation she attended Edinburgh College of Art, and transferred, upon her marriage, to Glasgow School of Art. From 1940-1955, she worked for the Civil Service as a press officer. Her first novel, The Game of Kings, was published in the United States in 1961 and in the United Kingdom the year after. During her lifetime, she wrote over 20 books including King Hereafter, the six-part Lymond Chronicles, and the eight-part House of Niccolo series. She was also a professional portrait painter and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. In 1992 she was awarded the Office of the British Empire for services to literature. She died from cancer on November 9, 2001 at the age of 78. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from The Game of Kings… (more)
According to her fan site, Dorothy Dunnett was pursuing a successful career as a professional portrait painter in the 1950s when she complained to her husband Alastair that she had run out of reading material. He suggested she write something herself. With the erudition and depth of research that was to become her trademark, she spent the next 18 months writing The Game of Kings. It was rejected by 5 British publishers before being published in the USA in 1961 and launching her writing career.