Conference speakers

Hilary Mantel was born in Glossop, Derbyshire. Her novels include Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988), set in Jeddah; Fludd (1989), set in a mill village in the north of England and winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize; A Place of Greater Safety (1992), an epic account of the events of the French revolution that won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award; A Change of Climate (1994), the story of a missionary couple whose lives are torn apart by the loss of their child; An Experiment in Love (1995), about the events in the lives of three schoolfriends from the north of England who arrive at London University in 1970, winner of the 1996 Hawthornden Prize; and Beyond Black (2005), the story of Alison, a Home Counties psychic, and her assistant, Colette, shortlisted for a 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel, Wolf Hall (2009), a masterly study of Thomas Cromwell, won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. She is currently working on a sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. Hilary Mantel was awarded a CBE in 2006.

David Loades is Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales and Honorary Member of the History Faculty of the University of Oxford. He has written sixteen books on the Tudors including: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, The Tudor Queens of England, Mary Tudor: A Life, The Chronicle of the Tudor Kings, The Chronicle of the Tudor Queens, The Reign of Mary Tudor, The Fighting Tudors, The Making of the Tudor Navy, The Tudor Queens, The Tudors for Dummies, The Cecils: Privilege & Power Behind the Throne, Intrigue and Treason: The Tudor Court, 1547-1558, Tudor Government, Henry VIII King & Court, and Henry VIII: Court, Church & Conflict. He is currently writing a new history of the Boleyn family, to be published by Amberley Books in 2012.

Alison Weir trained as a history teacher; her passion for history had been born when she read her first adult novel at the age of fourteen. Her first book, Britain’s Royal Families, came out in 1989. She has since written fourteen other history books, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katherine Swynford and The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. Alison has also published three historical novels, Innocent Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth and The Captive Queen. Her next history book, a biography of Mary Boleyn, will appear in October 2011. She is now writing a fourth novel and a history of England’s medieval queens. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, and is married with two adult children.

Elizabeth ChadwickElizabeth Chadwick was born in Bury, Lancashire in 1957 and can remember telling herself stories from the age of 3. She began writing historical fiction at the age of 15, when a historical TV drama inspired her during the school holidays to write a novel about a knight in the Holy Land in the 12th century. The research required led her into a deep and abiding love for the Middle Ages and she has been studying it ever since. Having served a long apprenticeship of rejections, she was taken on in her early 30s by leading London literary agency Blake Friedmann. Her novel The Wild Hunt went on to win a Betty Trask Award, has been published in 16 languages and is still in print 21 years later. Her novels have continued to be nominated for awards and she is renown for both her inter-disciplinary research into the period and for making that period come alive to her readers. Her second novel about the great William Marshal, The Scarlet Lion (2006) was nominated as one of the 10 best works of historical fiction of the decade by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society. To Defy A King (2010) recently won this year’s RNA Award for Historical Fiction. Elizabeth is currently contracted to LittleBrown to write 3 novels about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Justin Champion is Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests explore the history of heterodox ideas in the age of enlightenments, particularly the lives and thought of Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Charles Blount, John Toland and Matthew Tindal. His current research project considers the Enlightenment project of Thomas Hobbes. Recent books are Republican Learning: John Toland and the Crisis of Christian Culture, 1696-1722 (Paperback, Manchester, 2009) and a collection of the writings of eighteenth century republican, Sir Robert Molesworth (Liberty Fund, 2011). A frequent broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and 4 (the most recent being a conversation with Terry Deary and others about the Horrible Histories) he is attempting to write a campus novel with historical themes.

Tracey Loughran is Lecturer in History at Cardiff University. Her research to date has explored the history of British psychiatry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on medical attitudes to shell-shock during the First World War. She is currently completing a monograph on this subject, Frames of Mind: Shell-Shock and British Medical Culture, 1860-1930. She is also working on a new project on health, illness and advice in British women’s magazines from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Peter Straus joined the literary agency Rogers, Coleridge and White in 2002. He has been in the book world for over twenty years and has worked at Hodder & Stoughton, Hamish Hamilton and Macmillan. He was the publisher of Picador for twelve years and latterly the Editor in Chief of all the adult trade imprints at Macmillan, in his time there working with such authors as Don De Lillo, Helen Fielding, Cormac McCarthy, V.S.Naipaul, and Michael Ondaatje. His client list includes Kate Atkinson, Carol Ann Duffy, Mariella Frostrup, Rachel Johnson, Kate Long, Alexander Masters, Don Paterson, Jenny Pitman, Adam Thirlwell, Rupert Thomson and Colm Toibin. He lives in London.

Maria Margaronis is a journalist and critic. She is London correspondent for The Nation magazine and has written for many other British and American publications, including The Guardian, the TLS, the London Review of Books and History Workshop Journal. She is the Writing Tutor for graduate students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birbeck.

Ian Mortimer was born in Petts Wood (Kent). He read for BA and PhD degrees in history at the University of Exeter, and an MA degree in archive studies at University College London. From 1991 to 2003 he worked for a succession of archive and historical research organisations, including Devon Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and the universities of Exeter and Reading. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998, and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) for his work on the social history of medicine. In June 2011, the University of Exeter awarded him a higher doctorate (DLitt) by examination, on the strength of his historical work. His books include Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies, 1415: Henry V’s Year of Glory, The Dying and the Doctors: the Medical Revolution in Seventeenth-Century England, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: a Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century and The Fears of King Henry IV: the Life of England’s Self-made King. He has written two historical novels, Sacred Treason and Roots of Betrayal, under the name James Forrester, and a third, The Final Sacrament, is due to be published in 2012.

Beverley Southgate is Reader Emeritus at the University of Hertfordshire. After many years focusing on seventeenth-century intellectual history, he has more recently turned his attention to the nature(s) and purpose(s) of history, his publications including History: What and Why? (1996), Why Bother with History? (2000), Postmodernism in History (2003), and What is History For? (2005). His most recent book, History Meets Fiction (2009), offers a fascinating insight into ongoing debates, appealing not only to academics and students, but also to anyone with an interest in exploring the meeting points between history and fiction.

Rebecca Stott was born in Cambridge in 1964. She studied English and Art History at York University, and went on to complete an MA and PhD at York. She is the author of several books on Victorian literature and culture, two books of non-fiction, including a biography of Charles Darwin called Darwin and the Barnacle (Faber 2003), and a cultural history of the oyster. She now works for half the year as a Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and the other half as a freelance writer and broadcaster. Rebecca’s first novel, Ghostwalk, was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the UK in 2007. It was shortlisted for the Jelf First Novel Award, the Society of Authors First Novel Award and long listed for the Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, The Coral Thief, was published in the UK in December 2009 and was serialised as BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. She has just finished a non-fiction book, Darwin’s Ghosts, a two-thousand year-long chronicle about the pre-Darwinian evolutionists, which will be published by Bloomsbury in the UK and Random House in the US in May 2012, and has begun writing a third novel.

Jackie Eales is Professor of Early Modern History at Canterbury Church University, and President of the Historical Association. Her research focuses on Puritanism and the Parliamentarian party, and she has also published widely on the history of Kent and on women’s history. Her publications include Puritans and Roundheads: The Harleys of Brampton Bryan and the Outbreak of the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1990), Women in Early Modern England, 1500-1700 (London, 1998) and Community and Disunity: Kent and the English Civil Wars, 1640-1649 (Whitstable, 2001). She is currently writing a monograph on seventeenth-century clergy wives and daughters.

Cora Kaplan is an Honorary Professor in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, and is Professor Emerita of English at Southampton University. This year she is Senior Research Fellow in English at King’s College London. She began her teaching career at Sussex University and from 1989-95 was Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she also served as Director of the Institute for Research on Women. A feminist critic and theorist, with a special interest in class and race, her work has focused on questions of aesthetic and politics in women’s writing in Britain from the late eighteenth century to the mid-Victorian period, and in feminist fiction and film in the last fifty years. Her publications include Sea Changes: Essays on Cultural and Criticism (Verso, 1986) and Genders, co-authored with David Glover (Taylor and Francis, 2000; 2nd rev. edn., forthcoming 2009). Her most recent book, Victoriana: Histories, Fictions, Criticism (Edinburgh UP, 2007), continues this work. With Jennie Batchelor she is the general editor of a new ten-part series, the History of British Women’s Writing, published by Palgrave MacMillan. Cora Kaplan has served on the Editorial Board of the PMLA, and is a founder  member of the editorial board of the journal New Formations. She is currently writing a study of racial thinking and representation in nineteenth-century Britain.

Paul Lay is the Editor of History Today. He took a first in History at Birkbeck, University of London, winning the Dakin Prize. He was a founder of BBC History Magazine.

Stella Tillyard was born in Britain and educated at Oxford University, where she studied English Literature. Her PhD on twentieth-century art criticism, completed in 1985, was published as The Impact of Modernism (1987). In 1981 she became Knox Fellow at Harvard and subsequently taught English literature and art history there and at UCLA. She moved to Florence, Italy, in 1993. Aristocrats, her biography of four eighteenth-century sisters was published in 1994, won the History Today Award, the Fawcett Prize and the Meilleur Livre Etranger and was made into a BBC/WGBH Masterpiece Theatre series in 2000. Her subsequent books include Citizen Lord, the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1998, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) and A Royal Affair, about George III and his siblings (2006). In 2005 she became visiting scholar at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of London, where she taught the history and practice of biography. She has just published her first novel, Tides of War.




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