Hello! This is a website all about ME. And my work, obviously. I’m a historian for grown ups and a novelist for teenagers, a speaker, and occasionally a television presenter.
Born and raised between the twin gems of Grimsby and Scunthorpe in England’s forgotten county, Lincolnshire, I now live in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral with my husband and our Border Terrier. I love London with the zeal of the convert.
My blog, Georgian London, is the largest body of study on the eighteenth century city freely available online. It’s ‘award-winning’ – started in the summer of 2009 in January 2010 it won an unprecedented two Cliopatrias in the US History News Network’s Awards and is used as a secondary source by students from institutions such as King’s College London, University College London and Christie’s. It has featured in The Times, the Guardian and Time Out.
My book, Georgian London: Into the Streets, is published by Viking for Penguin. Described variously as, ‘a great read by a talented new historian‘, ‘something quite delicious‘, ‘packed to the brim with the minutiae of life’ (WDYTYA magazine), and my personal favourite, ‘If you could cram all your Georgian facts into a large glass and drink it, here it is, the flavour reeking of sex, booze, coffee, tea, dismembered whale parts, rot and riot‘. ‘Her passionate curiosity and love for the city rise off the page like smoke‘, and it’s out now in hardback from wherever you like to buy your books.
I am interested in improving the experience of learning history and its relevance for all of us and have taken workshops and taught courses on the history of homosexuality, immigration and this year, a particularly memorable residential course for the blind and deaf. To come to one of my events, go here.
If you want me to speak at your event, go here.
Aside from writing about history, I also write fiction for young adults. My first novel, City of Halves, is out with Chicken House in April 2014. It’s about what happens when a teenager hacker bites off more than she can chew and ends up in a city surrounded by myths, legends and London folklore, where mudlarks comb the foreshore, the hinkypunks roam Hackney Marshes and where blood most definitely will out.
Sometimes, I am on the television. I presented Fight Club: A History of Violence, about female bare-knuckle boxing in gin-soaked Georgian London and was on the Great British Bake Off this summer, talking about the history of cookery writing. I was on Grave Trade for the History Channel and have just been filming with the BBC for the upcoming programmes which will be shown next year as part of the 300th anniversary of George I coming to the throne.
When not doing any of the above and sometimes when I should be, I can be found pissing about on twitter.
Images of me are © Paul Clarke