Katie Hickman was born into a diplomatic family and spent the first 25 years of her life living in Europe, the Far East and South America. Her first book, Dreams of the Peaceful Dragon (1987), an account of a journey on horseback across the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, was followed by The Quetzal Summer (1992), a novel about love and death in the Andes. In 1993 she published a second travel book, A Trip to the Light Fantastic, an account of a year spent living and working with a Mexican circus, which was short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. She then turned to writing history books: Daughters of Britannia: the Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives (1999) which rose to number two in the Sunday Times Bestseller list, and 2003’s bestselling Courtesans. Her later novels include The Aviary Gate (2009) and The Pindar Diamond (2010). She lives in London with her two children and her husband, the philosopher A.C. Grayling.