Born in India, at the height of British colonial power, she lived there until the 1950s. Her career as a novelist began with Black Narcissus which became a bestseller on publication in 1939 - and like many of her novels - was adapted into a film. Her relationship with India, although passionate, was ultimately and perhaps inevitably ambivalent and this ambivalence came to a head in an incident when she and her children were living in Kashmir. A servant tried to poison them and the notoriety surrounding the case forced Godden to leave Kashmir and eventually India itself. Her move from India to Scotland contains parallel themes and adventures akin to themes within her novels.