Brian Masters is British writer best known for his biographies of mass murderers. He has also written about the British aristocracy and worked as a translator.
Masters "grew up in a prefab on the Old Kent Road", Southwark to a "hunchback" mother with a weak chest and an illegitimate "no hoper" father. During his adolescence, after he asked to interview television personality Gilbert Harding for the school magazine he had launched, Harding became close to him, and functioned as a mentor. Masters was apparently quite unfazed when Harding asked to watch him bathe.
The family having moved to Wales in a vain hope of improving his mother's health, Masters read French Literature and Philosophy at University of Wales, Cardiff where he gained a first in 1961. Briefly a teacher in France, he worked for a time as a travel guide "organising educational tours for American students" and then wrote books on French writers such as MoliÃ¨re and Camus, among others, without any pretence at them having any real originality. The publisher Anthony Blond interested him in a book on the public's dreams about the Royal Family, which was the first of several books by Masters on the British aristocracy.