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 his experiences.

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.[1] 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 skiing. [1]
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.[2]

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.[2]
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.[1]

Over the following eight years she acquired an intimate knowledge of ancient civilisations across the globe.[2] 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.[3]

In her studies, Miss Croft undertook quite interesting project work and formed friendships with some of the lecturers and librarians at the university.[3] 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, Winston. [4]

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 exploits.[2]

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 lost tomb.

  1. 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.

  2. 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."

  3. 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."

  4. 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.

  5. 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..."

  6. 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.

  1. Arnold, V. "Lara's Past": Lara Croft - The Official UK Website, Eidos UK,

  2. Arnold, V. Tomb Raider CD Insert.

  3. Arnold, V. "Lots About Plots" Correspondence with Brian Chew on December 9, 1998.

  4. Arnold, V. "Lara Interviewed!" Gamers' Republic Magazine, December, 1998.