Born in Dunbartonshire, King studied at Glasgow University and Glasgow School of Art, where in 1902 she began to teach book cover design. She also worked as a designer of jewellery, tiles, fabrics, ceramics and wallpapers. In 1908 along with her husband Ernest Archibald Taylor (1874-1951) she established an art school in Paris, but returned to Scotland at the outbreak of the First World War.
King's favourite subjects were those taken from literature and in 1904 she was commissioned to produce ninety-five illustrations for William Morris's The Defence of Guinevere and Other Poems. The present work may relate to a line from the poem 'Golden Rowan' from the Lyra Celtica, 1896, a work compiled by William Sharp and his wife, under the pseudonym of Fiona MacLeod:
'Hers was the love of wilding things
To hear a squirrel chirr
In the golden rowan of Menalowan
Was joy enough for her.'