Martin Boyd's first novel, Love Gods, was published in 1925. Three years later The Montforts appeared, under the pseudonym Martin Mills. Following the international success of Lucinda Brayford in 1946 Boyd decided to return to Australia where he wanted to restore his grandfather's house, but by 1951 he was back in London. In the coming decade he was to write the Langton Quartet: The Cardboard Crown, A Difficult Young Man, Outbreak of Love, When Blackbirds Sing. In 1957 he went to Rome, where he lived and continued to write until his death in 1972.