Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He grew up on his father’s ranch, surrounded by 12,000 hectares of forest, hills and savannah. He learned his love for books from his mother, an obsession that his father found unnatural and unhealthy – which forced Wilbur to become a secret reader. He spent his school years at a boarding school in South Africa, where he turned to reading fiction to escape what he describes as “eight years of misery”.
He then moved on to senior school at Michaelhouse and graduated from Rhodes University. He realised someone was willing to pay him for his literary efforts when he sold his first story to Argosy magazine. However, his first novel, The Gods First Make Mad, was rejected by several leading publishing houses around the world.
But he didn’t give up. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feed. Wilbur has since written over thirty novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. Today, his books have sold over 130 million copies and are published in twenty-six languages across the world.
In May 2000, he married the love of his life, Niso. Together, they founded the Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation, which supports adventure writers, and created the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
`That time is upon us. I can feel it coming. That evil barbarian will not be satisfied until he has engulfed the whole world in war and death.
I fear for us all.' In a triumphant return to his much-loved Courtney series, Wilbur Smith introduces us to the bravest new member of the famed family, Saffron Courtney. Saffron grows up on a sprawling Kenyan estate, under the watchful...
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