Catherine Gaskin came to Australia from Ireland at the age of three months. She was educated in Sydney. Her first novel, This Other Eden,was published in 1946 when she was seventeen. After the publication of her second novel, With Every Year (1947), she went to England, travelling to Ireland and the US before settling on the Isle of Man. From 1947, she made only a few short trips back to Australia before re-settling in Sydney in 1999.
Gaskin became a highly successful novelist, and has published over twenty novels. The best-known of these is Sara Dane (1954). This story of a convict girl who makes a successful life in Australia is based on the life of Mary Reibey. The novel was widely translated, and made into an Australian television series in 1982.
Gaskin's bestsellers include The Tilsit Inheritance (1963), The File on Devlin (1965) and The Ambassador's Women (1985). Several of her novels, including Sara Dane; I Know My Love (1962) and Family Affairs (1980) are set in Australia.