His father, Robert Thurston Hopkins, (1884-1958), was a prolific author, writing topographical works, ghost stories and much more, including biographical works on such great British figures as Oscar Wilde, H G Wells and Rudyard Kipling. His 1935 book 'Life and Death at The Old Bailey' is often quoted in discussions of the identity of the infamous London serial killer 'Jack The Ripper'. Much of his work was related to the English countryside, with books on Sussex, where the family lived, and Cornwall, as well as several on London. He also wrote some of the early classics of industrial archaeology, on windmills and watermills, as well as the 'Moated Houses of England', published by Country Life in 1935. One of his other works was the 'Every Boy's Open Air Book' of 1925.