F. Marion Crawford was born on August 2, 1854, in Bagni de Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. He was the son of the American sculptor Thomas Crawford. He was educated by a French governess; then at St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.; in the quiet country village of Hatfield Regis, under an English tutor; at Trinity College, Cambridge, where they thought him to become a mathematician; at Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, and at the University of Rome, where a special interest in Oriental languages sent him to India with the idea of preparing for a professorship. He spent a short time as a newspaper editor there. His first novel, Mr. Isaacs, was published in 1882. During his lifetime, he wrote over forty novels and one play, Francesca da Rimini. His novels include Dr. Claudius, A Roman Singer, A Cigarette Maker's Romance, The Witch of Prague, The Heart of Rome, and The Diva's Ruby. He died on April 9, 1909.