A former language-teacher and technical journalist, David Parlett began freelancing in 1975 as a games inventor and author of books on games, a field in which he has built up an impressive international reputation. He is an accredited consultant on gaming terminology to the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993) and regularly advises on the staging of card games in films and television productions. His many books include The Oxford History of Board Games (1999), The Oxford History of Card Games (1990), The Penguin Book Of Word Games (1982), The Penguin Book of Card Games (1979) and The Penguin Book of Patience (1979).
His board game Hare and Tortoise won the prestigious German Game of the Year Award in 1979 and has since been published all over the world, with a new edition due appearing in 2000. David Parlett is a native of South London, where he still resides with his wife and family, and various cats.