Born John Robin Jenkins in the Lanarkshire village of Flemington in 1912, Jenkins was a prolific but not always successful author during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. He his most famous for his novel The Cone-Gatherers, which is often studied at Scottish schools as a Higher English set text.
After attending Hamilton Academy, Jenkins studied English at the University of Glasgow, and graduated in 1936. He was an English teacher in Glasgow for a number of years, moving to the Borders at the start of WWII. A conscientious objector to the war, he worked for the Forestry Service in Argyll. He first started writing after the war, and his first novel, So Gaily Sings The Lark, was published in 1951. He later moved abroad, working for the British Council in in Afghanistan, Spain and Borneo. In 1968 he returned to Scotland, and became a full-time writer two years later.
Jenkins has written around thirty novels, and in 2002 was awarded the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun prize by the Saltire Society for his lifetime achievement as a writer. He was also awarded an OBE in 1999.
Robin Jenkins died in 2005, aged 92; the novel The Pearl-Fishers was posthumously published in 2007 after being discovered in a drawer by his daughter.