William Dalrymple was born in Scotland. His first book, In Xanadu, written when he was twenty-two, was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. In 1989 he moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching his second book, City of Djinns, which won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. He then went on to write From the Holy Mountain (1997) and The Age of Kali (1998).
William Dalrymple is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Asiatic Society. He wrote and presented the television series Stories of the Raj and Indian Journeys, which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002. He is married to artist Olivia Fraser, and they have three children. They now divide their time between London and Delhi. White Mughals won the Wolfson Prize for History 2003 and the Scottish Book of the Year Prize, and was shortlisted for the PEN History Award.