Linda Porter was born in Exeter, Devon in 1947. Her family have long-standing connections to the West Country, but moved to the London area when she was a small child. She was educated at Walthamstow Hall School in Sevenoaks and at the University of York, from which she has a doctorate in History. On completing her postgraduate work she moved to New York, where she lived for almost a decade, lecturing at Fordham University and the City University of New York. Three of her books have been published and she is currently doing research and writing on a fourth.
Since returning to England, Porter has had a varied career. She has worked as a journalist and been a senior adviser on international public relations to a major telecommunications company. But she has always stayed close to her roots as an historian. In 2004 she was the winner of the Biographers Club/Daily Mail prize which launched her on a new career as an author. Her first book, Mary Tudor: The First Queen was published in 2007. In 2010 her second book Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr was published. Her third book, Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots" , was published by Macmillan in 2013.
Porter's biography of Queen Mary I of England presented a view of Mary as a decisive and clear-headed ruler, and a skilled political and diplomatic operator. This was in line with much current academic opinion but presented to the general public an analysis at odds with images left by The Actes and Monuments and other Elizabethan propaganda.
As of 2014 Porter is continuing to do some public speaking, publication of articles and book reviews as well as doing research for a fourth book.
Porter is married with one daughter. She lives in Kent.