Nigel Tranter was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 23, 1909. He was educated at the George Heriot's School in Edinburgh and later trained as an accountant. He worked for his uncle's insurance company for ten years before joining the Royal Artillery during World War II. His first book, The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland, was published in 1935. He wrote over 120 works of historical fiction including Trespass and nonfiction including the five-volume The Fortified House in Scotland. He also wrote 14 westerns under the pen name Nye Tregold and 13 children's books. At one time, he had his own historical program on Scottish television entitled Towers of Strength. He died from the flu on January 9, 2000 at the age of 90.