Jean Stubbs was born on October 23, 1926, in Denton, Lancashire, England. She was educated at the Manchester High School for Girls and later at the Manchester School of Art, which she attended from 1944 to 1947. A marriage, which ended in divorce, produced two children: a son, Robin, and a daughter, Gretel Sally. Aside from her love of writing, Stubbs also enjoys art, spending time with her family and cooking.
Before settling on a career as a writer, Stubbs was an artist, an actress, and a concert pianist. She published several short stories, reviews, and articles in various periodicals before her career as a novelist. She received the Society of Authors’ Tom Gallon Award in 1964 for her short story “A Child’s Four Seasons.” Stubbs did not gain real literary recognition until the publication of her first novel, The Rose-Grower (1962), the first in her historical romance series, the Howarth Chronicles, which she later claimed had been written on the subway. It was not until 1974 that she turned to the mystery format in The Painted Face, and after The Golden Crucible in 1976, she abandoned that genre for a successful family-saga series.