Dorothy Emily Stevenson, born in Edinburgh in 1892, was very proud of her family tradition of engineering and writing; her great-grandfather, Robert Stevenson, designed the famous Bell Rock Lighthouse and many others around the Scottish coast, and her father was a first cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson. She herself started writing stories as a small child,
Her first novel, Peter West, was published in 1929, but she did not find fame until 1932 with the publication of Mrs. Tim of the Regiment based on her own experience as an army wife with her husband Captain James Peploe, whom she had married in 1916. She went on to write a total of 45 (published) novels, which sold over seven million copies and brought her worldwide fame.
The extent of her early writing is becoming more evident with the recent discovery of some boxes of unpublished manuscripts, including The Fair Miss Fortune, Emily Dennistoun, Portrait of Saskia and Jean Erskine’s Secret in her grand-daughter’s attic.
The family moved to Moffat in the Scottish Borders in 1940, where she wrote her books in longhand, reclining on a sofa looking out over the Dumfriesshire hills. She died in 1973.