Robin Hyde was born Iris Wilkinson in South Africa in 1906, the second of four daughters. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to New Zealand where they settled in Wellington. Iris began writing at an early age and became a journalist at seventeen, when she joined The Dominion. Under the pen-name Robin Hyde, she published her first book of poetry, The Desolate Star, in 1929. Her first prose work, an account of her life in journalism entitled Journalese, appeared in 1934. Between 1935 and 1938 she published five novels: Passport to Hell, Check to Your King, Wednesday's Children, Nor the Years Condemn, and The Godwits Fly.