Charmian Clift was born in New South Wales, Australia in 1923. She became a journalist on the Melbourne Argus after World War II and in 1947 married novelist and journalist George Johnston.
Early in their marriage they collaborated on three novels: the prizewinning High Valley, The Big Chariot and the Sponge Divers. Then in 1954, having lived in London for a few years, they took their family to live in the Greek Islands. During the period Charmian wrote two accounts of their life there, Mermaid Singing and Peel Me a Lotus, and two novels, Honour’s Mimic and Walk to the Paradise Gardens.
In 1964 the family returned to Australia and Charmian began a weekly newspaper column which quickly gained her a wide and devoted readership.
She died in 1969.