Robert Nye was born in London in 1939. His principal calling is poetry, and his A COLLECTION OF POEMS 1955-1988 was chosen by six critics as one of their Books of the Year. FALSTAFF, his second novel, was published in 1976 and won both Hawthornden Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize. His subsequent historical novels include MERLIN, FAUST, THE VOYAGE OF THE DESTINY, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MY LORD GILLES DE RAIS and MRS SHAKESPEARE. His books have been translated into many languages, and he is also a respected literary journalist, having served for many years as poetry critic for The Times.