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Robert Wales was born and educated in Scotland. He had emigrated to Australia by the 1950s and worked as a cattle-grazier and gold prospector before writing plays such as The Hobby Horse, The Grotto and The Cell. He returned to Great Britain in 1966 to work as a screenwriter contributing to television dramas such as The Sweeney, Van de Valk and the American TV series In Search of Alexander the Great. Harry, his first novel, was adapted for film as Bullseye in 1987.