Mollie Hunter is best known as an author of fantasy and history novels for children. Born in Longniddry, East Lothian, she maintained that her country upbringing was always at the heart of her writing. Her father’s death when she was nine was a life-changing event which she described in her book ‘A Sound of Chariot’. When Hunter was forced to leave school at fourteen and to take a job in Edinburgh, she studied history and folklore in libraries during the evenings. In 1940 she married Thomas McIlwraith during a period of leave from his Navy training. They spent most of the war years apart, but later had two sons. In the 1980s McIlwraith famously helped Hunter recover from paralysis brought on by arthritis, by developing a special diet for her without animal fats.