Judith Devaliant was born in Dunedin and grew up in an all-female household. She was educated in Lawrence, Invercargill and Dunedin, graduating from Otago University in 1960 with an M.A. Honours in History. A working holiday in Britain ended with marriage to Lionel, who was a London policeman and is now deputy principal at an Auckland school. Their four daughters are pursuing their own careers in Auckland and Japan. Judith worked as a reference librarian before resigning to become a fulltime writer.
Her first book, Kate Sheppard; A Biography (Penguin) was written for Suffrage Year in 1993. She is continuing her research on Kate Sheppard and other women of that period. She is a keen gardener who enjoys walks along Auckland’s beaches and some gentle hiking.