Once upon a time by a river in India there lived a little English girl call Margaret Rumer Godden.

The life of Rumer Godden, One of the best-loved contemporary authors, was an eventful and dramatic as the plot of any of her novels. Born in India to English parents at the height of British colonial power, she always knew she wanted to be a writer and her literary career spanned six decades. In 1939, Black Narcissus became an overnight bestseller and has remained in print ever since.

Anne Chisholm’s biography places Rumer Godden’s work in the context of her remarkable life. At the heart of her writing is her idyllic childhood in Bengal, through her relationship with India, though passionate, was ultimately ambivalent. A servant tried to poison her and her children and the notoriety this brought forced Godden to leave Kashmir and indeed India for good. She settle in Scotland where she continued to write until her death in 1998.

Through conversations with Rumer Godden herself and from exclusive access to private letters, Anne Chisholm has written the definitive story of an emotionally powerful writer and a woman of unusual strength of character.

“A clear swift narrative…one which sympathetically describes and justly honours the subject.”