Maurice Collis was born in 1889, the son of an Irish solicitor. He entered the Indian Civil Service in 1911 and was posted to Burma, rising to the position of district magistrate in Rangoon in 1929, where the independence of his judgments displeased his superiors who moved him to the position of Excise Commissioner. He returned to England in 1934. He wrote over twenty books, including volumes of autobiography, travel writing, novels, histories and three plays. He died in 1973.