Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 - 13 February 1950) was an Italian/English writer of novels of romance and adventure. Rafael Sabatini was born in Iesi, Italy, to an English mother (Anna Trafford) and Italian father. His parents were opera singers who became teachers.
His only son, Rafael-Angelo (nicknamed Binkie), was killed in a car crash on 1 April 1927. In 1931, he and his wife Ruth divorced. Later that year he moved from London to Hay-on-Wye. In 1935 he married the sculptor Christine Goad, his former sister-in-law. They suffered further tragedy when Christine's son, Lancelot, was killed in a flying accident. On the day he received his RAF wings, he flew his aeroplane over their house, but the plane went out of control and crashed in flames before their eyes.
By the 1940s, illness forced the writer to slow his prolific method of composition. However, he did write several additional works even during that time. He died on 13 February 1950 in Switzerland. He is buried at Adelboden, Switzerland. On his headstone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", the first line of Scaramouche.