Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
Margaret George (born in 1943) is an American historian and historical novelist, specializing in epic fictional biographies. She is known for her meticulous research and the large scale of her books. She was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of the bestselling novels The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles and The Memoirs of Cleopatra. The latter novel was adapted into an Emmy-nominated TV miniseries starring Leonor Varela in the title role, Billy Zane as Mark Antony and Timothy Dalton as Julius Caesar Cleopatra (1999 film). Other bestselling novels include Mary Called Magdalene and Helen of Troy. She co-authored a children's book about tortoises called Lucille Lost. George's newest novel, Elizabeth I, was published in April 2011. This novel focuses on the later years of Queen Elizabeth I's reign, in the time of Shakespeare, the Armada, and the discovery of the New World. After the publication of her Elizabeth novel, George plans to write a novel about Boudicca, highlighting Boudicca's conflict with Rome and Nero.
Margaret George was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father joined the U.S. Foreign Service when she was four, and thus she lived all over the world—Taiwan, Israel, and Germany—before she was thirteen. She was exposed early to historical sites and learned that legends might have a historical basis, attending school in Jaffa, Israel, where Jonah set sail (en route to meeting the whale) and living on the Rhine in Germany across from the Drachenfels, where Siegfried of the Nibelungenlied killed the dragon.
She graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. and Stanford University with an M.A. co-majoring in biological science and English literature. She worked as a science writer for several years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Since then she has lived in El Salvador and Sweden, and now calls Madison, Wisconsin, home.
She began writing at a very early age, composing on yellow lined tablets and illustrating them herself. By middle school, she had begun writing novels, but did not show them to anyone except a few close friends. Only when a book was completely finished did she try for publication. Although she is now known exclusively for historical tomes, she wrote in many genres---science fiction, teen, humor, chick lit (although it wasn’t called that then), action-adventure, before finding what suited her best.
Her first published novel, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, 1986, set the pattern with a carefully researched, realistic, unsentimetal depiction of the title character. Her other books show the same characteristics.
She has been interviewed on A & E’s Biography Series on Henry VIII (Henry VIII: Scandals of a King, 1996) and Elizabeth I (Elizabeth : The Virgin Queen, 1996), as well as a special about Cleopatra (Cleopatra’s World: Alexandria Revealed, 1999). She was also a consultant for the CNN special “The Two Marys” in 2004.
Her knowledge of ancient medicine, acquired through her research on Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, and Helen of Troy, led to being an invited lecturer at The American Glaucoma Society (San Diego, 2009), The Glaucoma Foundation (New York City,1997) and the International Congress of Glaucoma Surgery (Luxor, Egypt, 2003).
- The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers (1986)
- Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles (1992)
- The Memoirs of Cleopatra (1997)
- Mary, called Magdalene (2002)
- Helen of Troy (2006)
- Elizabeth I (2011)