Born in Liverpool, Deirdre Holding has lived in Scotland since 1963, graduating with a degree in medicine from the University of St Andrews, where she met her husband, Nicholas. Among many interests the couple shared was one in the communist world, and they made their first visit to the Soviet Union in 1973. The downfall of communism enabled the Holdings to travel more freely around the former Soviet bloc, sparking their interest in Armenia. After a career in the Scottish National Health Service as a consultant eye surgeon, Deirdre retired early in 2003 – two years after the couple’s first trip to Armenia, which prompted Nicholas to write the first two editions of the Bradt guide to country. After Nicholas’s death in 2008, Deirdre took over authorship of the third and subsequent editions – maintaining her interest in Armenia through regular visits.