Dorothy Dunnett: Biography

Dorothy Dunnett

25 aug 1923

Dorothy Dunnett was a Scottish historical novelist born in Dunfermline on 25 Aug, 1923. Her father was a mining engineer from Fife and her mother was from Burmingham. Although both her parents didn’t have much background in writing, Dorothy bloomed to become a notable author.

Interested in painting, Dorothy wished for a career as an artist and she even had plans for it. But since war broke out her dreams got scattered and at the age of 16, she took the job as a civil servant and became an Assistant Press Officer.

‘The Game of Kings’ was the first novel written by Dorothy but was rejected by English publishers since they considered it to be too long. Then the book was spotted by Lois Cole, who had published ‘Gone with the Wind’ and with his support, ‘The Game of Kings’ was published in 1961. The book came to be an instant best seller and Dorothy’s writing career thus started and took her all over the world.

Dorothy Dunnett married author Sir Alastair Dunnett and the couple were blessed with two sons. Dorothy is widely known for her books on Francis Crawford of Lymond, named ‘The Lymond Chronicles’ which is a six part series. In a similar way she wrote her eight part prequel, The House of Niccolo’, ‘King Here after’ was a novel written about the real Macbeth.

A member of various committees and boards dealing with books, films and cultural matters, Dorothy was also a non- executive director of Scottish Television for 13 years. Dorothy Dunnett was given an OBE in 1992. A great writer who had delivered classic historic novels passed away on Nov 9, 2001.