Hector Bolitho was born in Auckland, New Zealand. A novelist and biographer, he published fifty-nine books over the span of his career. Bolitho came from a well-connected family, and he travelled the South Seas and New Zealand with his friend, the Prince of Wales, in 1920.
Bolitho moved to Sydney in 1921, where he became editor of the Shakespearean Quarterly and drama critic of the Evening News. He spent the mid-twenties travelling in Africa, Canada, and America, before settling in Britain, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Bolitho joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) as an intelligence officer. He edited the Royal Air Force Weekly Bulletin, and later the Royal Air Force Journal. In 1942 he was appointed editor of the Coastal Command Intelligence Review.
Bolitho’s novels and biographies span a range of subjects, but generally have a historical or political focus. He was particularly interested in Victorian England, and many of his works of fiction were set in his home country, New Zealand.
Bolitho's long-term partner was Derek Peel, an army officer. They met in 1949 and were together until Bolitho's death in 1974.