Lara Croft -- Biographical Sketch 1
Lara Croft was born to Lord Henshingly Croft on February 14th,
1968 in Wimbledon, London. From the age of three, she received
private tutoring until she was eleven years old. Miss Croft was then
enrolled in the Wimbledon High School for Girls through the age of
sixteen. Throughout her childhood years as the daughter of Lord
Croft, she was brought up in the secure world of aristocracy,
surrounded by tennis, butlers and corgis. But this all started to
change the summer after completing high school.
Although Lara's academics were outstanding, she was an adventurous
soul and had a somewhat impulsive nature. It is likely that Lara
inherited her restless nature and desire for adventure from her
father. Her father had often visited archaeological digs in places
such as Jordan, Egypt and South America in his youth. Although he had
little time to read after Lara was born, he still subscribed to
archaeological journals and on the odd occasion when he had time to
spend with Lara, she would listen, totally captivated, as he recounted
Her parents were concerned that Lara's life needed more
structure, and had considered sending her on a trip to the continent
to spend the remainder of the summer with her aunt. Instead, she
convinced her father to allow her to join Professor Werner Von Croy, a
respected archaeologist, on a tour across Asia. The expedition came
to an end in a tragic accident in Cambodia.
After returning from Cambodia, Lara was sent to the renowned
boarding school of Gordonstoun where she found the mountains of
Scotland. At Gordonstoun, Miss Croft was found to
be not much of a team player. She discovered rock climbing there and
would often set off into the hills alone during netball practice.
Miss Croft also took up shooting as an extra-curricular activity but
was instantly banned for showing "too keen an interest". At the age
of eighteen Miss Croft's parents sent her to a Swiss finishing
school2 in hopes of teaching her how
to fit into society. While in Switzerland, she took to the art of
In 1989, after graduating from finishing school at the age of
twenty-one, Miss Croft's marriage into wealth had seemed assured.
Upon completing her education, she decided to spend a holiday in the
Himalayas searching for more challenging skiing terrain. However, on
her way home from the skiing trip, her chartered plane crashed deep
in the heart of the Himalayas. The only survivor, young Miss Croft
learned how to depend on her wits to stay alive in hostile conditions
a world away from her sheltered upbringing.
She walked into the mountain village of Tokakeriby
two weeks later. Having battled the elements alone in the Himalayas,
she gained a new perspective on herself that made her luxurious past
seem shallow and empty. Those experiences had a profound effect on
her. Unable to stand the claustrophobic suffocating atmosphere of
upper-class British society any longer, Miss Croft realised that she
was only truly alive when she was traveling alone.
Despite this drastic life change, Miss Croft still retains the
essence of her upbringing - most notably with her polite, upper-class
accent. Lara's parents though, having sported hopes of her marrying
the Earl of Farringdon, were less than convinced about this chosen
lifestyle and ceased to associate with their daughter - even
terminating her monthly allowance. The Earl is still waiting.
Over the following eight years she acquired an intimate knowledge
of ancient civilisations across the globe.
Although Miss Croft never attended a university as a full-time
student, she did derive much of her knowledge of archaeology and
anthropology from some of the most prestigious universities in
Britain3 through correspondence and
posting her work straight in from the field.
In her studies, Miss Croft undertook quite interesting project work
and formed friendships with some of the lecturers and librarians at
the university. One faculty member in particular,
seeing past Miss Croft's unorthodox situation, recognized her
potential and took a personal interest in her studies4.
Besides her academic endeavors, Miss Croft was finally free to
pursue her interests and develop her skills in shooting, and has
become an expert marksman. Although usually seen packing a pair of
pistols, she has familiarized herself with a wide range of firearms
including various automatic weapons from around the world.
Over the years, her expeditions have also required her to become
proficient in the operation of many kinds of vehicles including
watercraft, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. Despite her
extensive driving and piloting skills, the Norton Streetfighter
motorcycle is still her vehicle of choice.
When home in England, Miss Croft lives in a mansion in Surrey,
which she inherited from a great aunt5
who had become her benefactor when her parents withdrew their support
from her. [3, 4] At one time she saw little use for
the mansion but now realises that, if nothing else, it is at least
handy for storing all the artifacts she has acquired on her travels.
Along with the mansion, Miss Croft inherited her great aunt's butler,
Her family having disowned their prodigal daughter, Miss Croft
turned to writing to fund her trips. Renown for discovering several
ancient sites of profound archaeological interest, she made a name for
herself by publishing travel books and detailed journals of her
Over the years, Miss Croft has traveled the globe under the employ
of institutions, private collectors, as well as for her own interests.
Lara Croft has retrieved artifacts of great antiquity to add to museum
galleries as well as her own personal collection6.
In 1996, soon after hunting down a "Bigfoot" in North America,
Lara was hired by Jaqueline Natla, of Natla Technologies, to search
for the Atlantean Scion. This
search called her away from her planned activities in India and
eventually led to her discovery what remained of the legendary island
continent of Atlantis.
After her emprise to Atlantis, Miss Croft returned to Egypt to further investigate
the ruins she found there previously. Upon her return home, she
discovered that she had some unfinished business in Atlantis,
and so returned to the Mediterranean.
In 1997, for personal reasons4,
Miss Croft set out for China. Her investigations lead her to the
discovery of a mythical artifact known as the Dagger of Xian.
It was not long after Lara found the Dagger of Xian that she also
decided to search for an ancient Inuit artifact, the Golden Mask of Tornasuk, on a
remote island in the Bering Sea.
Miss Croft returned to India in 1998 to continue her search for the legendary Infada
artifact. She later learned that the Infada artifact was just one
of four artifacts all of which were carved from a mysterious meteorite
that landed on an island near Antarctica millions of years ago. Her
quest for the other three artifacts took her on an adventure that
spanned the globe.
Most recently, Miss Croft has returned to Egypt in search of a
- This biographical sketch page is a compilation of information
gathered by the Traveler's Guide's staff from "official sources". Some
details were amended by our staff in
our backplot pages.
- Vicky Arnold writes in her correspondence with Brian, "Finishing
schools are very bizarre, archaic institutions. [...] The Swiss have
always been renowned for ones that the British aristocracy would send
their daughters to. They are more about teaching 'young women' how to
fit in in society - rather like a transitional place between being a
daughter and a wife. I'm not sure that much actual intellectual
learning is really the idea - any books they have there are
undoubtedly used for balancing on one's head! I think I once let Lara
credit the fact that she fits so much into such a tiny rucksack to her
'efficient overnight packing' syllabus."
- Vicky Arnold writes in her correspondence with Brian, "Seeing as
Lara was trying to escape the fusty upper-class society she was
brought up in and was enjoying her new found freedom, I have always
reckoned it's more in keeping that she didn't actually enter full time
[university] education at Oxford or anything, but did something less
refined like an 'open university' course - [a kind of TV run system
whereby you watch appropriate programmes and do your course by
correspondence with a few weeks residential lecturing.] Probably doing
an anthropology course, Lara would undoubtedly have posted her work in
straight from the field. Cambridge and Oxford are the two most
prestigious universities in England so I reckon Lara would've gone to
one of these for the residential part and I would imagine that, with
her undoubtedly very interesting project work, she could quite
plausibly have formed a few friendships with some of the old cronie
lecturers and librarians. [...] I know a lot of people in magazines
have labelled her as a genuine 'archaeologist' and somehow think she
would've undertaken heavy studying at Oxford/Cambridge, but that's
never been the idea."
- We at the Traveler's Guide's proposed
that Lara goes to China to investigate the unusual circumstances of
the death of her friend and former mentor, Professor Richard Pollard.
No such person appears in any official accounts. We at the Traveler's Guide's fabricated this character.
We introduced his character in the Unfinished Business backplot and
then in the Dagger of Xian backplot we reveal
that he was murdered while on an archaeological dig in China. His
death makes the hunt for the dagger "personal" for Lara.
- Vicky Arnold writes in her correspondence with Brian, "... I like
to think that while Lara's parents have disowned her, she has/had a
couple of benevolent aunties who keep a look out for her. Aunties are
always stereotypically the slightly insane and most liberal thinking
relatives (never met any myself but...). One of them (a great-aunty
in fact), left Lara the mansion -- while the other [...] helps expand
Lara's mind a but more. Unfortunately, her vicious little Corgi
doesn't like Lara's company..."
- We do not propose that Miss Croft is a genuine archaeologist in
the usual sense. We do propose that she has the training required to
quickly interpret Egyptian hieroglyphics, identify authentic artifacts
from phonies, and possess significant knowledge of many ancient
civilisations. Though she may not be widely accepted by the orthodox
archaeologists, her skills cannot be dismissed. We propose that she
is sort of a "black sheep" in the archaeological circles.
- Arnold, V. "Lara's Past": Lara Croft - The Official UK
Website, Eidos UK,