Halina Popławska was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, and studied the Romance languages and literature at the University of Warsaw. When it was closed during the early years of World War II, she studied music and singing at the Vilnius Conservatory. After the war, she returned to Warsaw to earn a master's degree in 1948, and worked in the National Library in Warsaw. She taught Italian at the University of Warsaw and at the Academy of Fine Arts. She became a professor in the Institute of Iberian Studies at Warsaw University, lecturing on Spanish literature of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. She co-authored a textbook and a two-volume review of Spanish culture and literature, and translated works from French and Italian literature. In 1978, she began writing carefully-researched historical novels, producing about 16 so far, including a trilogy set during the French Revolution.