Rafael Sabatini was born in Italy in 1875 of a British mother and Italian father. Both parents had careers as opera singers and teachers. He settled in England in his late teens, and by the age of 27 had written his first novel. English was his sixth language, but it was the language to which he would devote the rest of his career. Sabatini achieved his greatest success with swashbuckling novels such as Scaramouche, The Sea Hawk, and Captain Blood. He authored dozens of novels, a number of histories, and even a play. He died in Switzerland in 1950.