Charmian Clift was born in Kiama, New South Wales, in 1923. She became a journalist on the Melbourne Argus newspaper after the war, and in 1947 married novelist and journalist George Johnston. Early in their marriage they collaborated on three novels, then, in 1954, they took their family to live in the Greek Islands. There, Clift wrote these accounts of her life and two novels, Honour's Mimic and Walk to the Paradise Gardens. On returning to Australia in 1964, Clift began writing a weekly newspaper column which quickly gained a wide and devoted readership. She died in 1969.