Arthur Stuart Menteth Hutchinson, the son of the distinguished soldier General H. D. Hutchinson, was born during his father’s tour of duty in India, and he grew up in an environment of garrison life. It was expected that he would follow his father’s profession, but when his poor health forced him to choose otherwise, he was sent back to England to study medicine.
His tenure at medical school lasted but three years, his determination to become a writer being stronger than his desire to work for a medical degree, and in 1908 his career as an author was launched with the publication of his first novel, Once Aboard the Lugger. In 1912, Hutchinson became editor of the Daily Graphic, a position he held for four years, during which time two more of his novels appeared. His progress as editor and writer was suspended temporarily in 1916 when he finally realized his ambition to be a soldier; he served in World War I first with the Royal Engineers and later with the British Army of Occupation. Returning to his literary tasks after the war, he produced his most successful and most widely read work, If Winter Comes, in 1920. A slow and meticulous writer, he wrote, on average, one book every two and a half years from that time until 1942. Following the success of If Winter Comes, he enjoyed a fair amount of popularity, and his works were published regularly in the United States as well as in England.