Alan Taylor, who was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, has been a journalist for more than 30 years. He was deputy editor of the Scotsman newspaper and managing editor of Scotsman Publications. He is co-founder and editor of the Scottish Review of Books. He contributes regularly to many publications, including the Times Literary Supplement and the Glasgow-based Herald. His books include The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists, Glasgow: An Autobiography and, most recently, Appointment in Arezzo, a memoir of Muriel Spark, of whom he was a friend for many years, which was published in 2017. He lives between Glasgow and the Scottish Borders, and takes every opportunity to visit Florence and environs.