William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He is the author of five books of history and travel, including the highly acclaimed bestseller, City of Djinns, which won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. His previous book, White Mughals, garnered a range of prizes, including the prestigious Wolfson Prize for History 2003 and the Scottish Book of the Year Prize. It was also shortlisted for the PEN History Award, the Kiryama Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. A stage version by Christopher Hampton has been co-commissioned by the National Theatre and the Tamasha Theatre Company.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Asiatic Society, Dalrymple was awarded the 2002 Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his ‘outstanding contribution to travel literature’ and the Sykes Medal of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs in 2005 for his contribution to the understanding of contemporary Islam.
He wrote wore and presented three television series, Stones of the Raj, Sufi Soul and Indian Journeys, the last of which won the Grieson Award for best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002. In December 2005 his article on the madrasas of Pakistan was awarded the prize for print Article of the Year at the 2005 FPA Media Awards.