Francis Edward Wintle, best known under his pen name Edward Rutherfurd, was born in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. After numerous attempts to write books and plays, he finally abandoned his career in the book trade in 1983, and returned to his childhood home to write SARUM, a historical novel with a ten-thousand year story, set in the area around the ancient monument of Stonehenge, and Salisbury. Four years later, when the book was published, it became an instant international bestseller, remaining 23 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Since then he has written five more bestsellers: RUSSKA, a novel of Russia; LONDON; THE FOREST, set in England's New Forest which lies close by Sarum, and two novels which cover the story of Ireland from the time just before Saint Patrick to the twentieth century. His books have been translated into twenty languages.Edward has lived in London, New York, New Hampshire and Ireland. He currently divides his time between New England and Europe. He has two children.Edward Rutherfurd is a Life Member of the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral, the Salisbury Civic Society, and the Friends of Chawton House, which is located in Jane Austen's village and dedicated to the study of women writers. He is also a Patron of the National Theatre of Ireland (the Abbey Theatre) in Dublin.In 2005, the City of Salisbury commemorated his services to the city by naming one of the streets leading off its medieval market place 'Rutherfurd Walk'.