Mary Chiappe has published three books: autobiographical; Cabbages and Kings (2006), a compilation of essays; The Grapes of Warmth (2003), A Handful of Poems (1995), a book of light verse. Two great influences in her childhood were Flamenco dancing and a pre-prep education. Her forefathers came from Sicily and her foremothers were Spanish peasants with gypsy blood somewhere along the line. A brief foray into politics converted her at the age of 25 into Gibraltar's first woman Minister. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, has spent a life-time teaching English and is a columnist for the Gibraltar Chronicle since 2002.