Biography: Peter Mayne
Peter Mayne was born in England in 1908, one of four children. His father was an exotic sort of school master who specialised in the sons of the ruling princes of India and was principal of the Rajmakur College for twenty years. Later he served as guardian to the young Maharajah of Jaipur. When Peter Mayne had finished his education in England, he went out to Bombay at the age of twenty and worked as an assistant in a firm of merchant-shippers. He was a failure as a businessman, though his father's many friendships with his ex-pupils permitted him easy access to Indian society. At the time of the partition of the Indian Empire he was in Kashmir and the new Pakistan Government invited him to serve as deputy secretary to the Ministry of Refugees and Rehabilitation. After two years had passed, and the tension had eased, he resigned from Government service and moved to Morocco to write.
Though the novel he then wrote was destroyed, his journal from this period won great acclaim and was translated into many European languages. First published by John Murray as The Alleys of Marrakesh, it was reissued by Eland in 1982 under its American title, A Year in Marrakesh. Peter Mayne later moved to Athens where he wrote The Narrow Smile, The Saints of Sind, The Private Sea and Friends in High Places (1975). The latter was a very personal account of an extended visit to see Jagut and Mussoorie, two old friends from his youth in Bombay.
He died in 1979.