Reay TannahillBorn and brought up in Scotland, Reay Tannahill would have liked to go to either art or drama school but instead found herself at the University of Glasgow, from where she emerged with an MA in history and a postgraduate certificate in social sciences.

After a varied early career - as a probation officer, advertising copywriter, newspaper reporter, historical researcher and graphic designer - she was asked by The Folio Society to write a short illustrated study of Regency England. This allowed her to combine her interests in art and history and was followed by Paris in the Revolution and The Fine Art of Food. Then came the bestselling Food in History. Its success was such that her publisher suggested a companion volume on the second great human imperative, Sex in History. Published in 1980, it has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Having spent twelve years researching and writing books of non-fiction, Reay Tannahill felt that a change was called for and embarked on her first historical novel. A Dark and Distant Shore was an instant bestseller. It was described by reviewers as a 'rattling good read', 'a marvellous blend of Gone With The Wind and The Thorn Birds', and 'comparable to War and Peace'. It was followed by The World, The Flesh and the Devil, set in the sensual, violent world of medieval Scotland, France and Rome. Passing Glory, published in 1989, won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. In Still and Stormy Waters was published in 1993, Return of the Stranger in 1985 and her most recently published novel, Fatal Majesty, was published in 1998 to considerable acclaim and bestseller status. The Seventh Son is, appropriately, her seventh novel.