ABOUT THE BIBLIT 2019 SPEAKERS

Would you like to know about the authors that took part in BibLit 2019?  
Read below to get an insight into the fascinating and inspiring backgrounds of our past speakers.

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ANGELA LEVIN

Angela Levin has been a senior feature writer on The Observer, Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.  She has also written for the Telegraph, Newsweek and Standpoint and contributed to NetDoctor, the online medical site. Her speciality has been interviewing well-known people and those who have suffered a huge personal trauma. She also writes on medical issues. She has been commended twice in the British Press Awards.

Angela has written nine non-fiction books including three on the royal family. Her latest biography, Harry: Conversations with the Prince, was published in May 3 2018.  Angela broadcasts world-wide on TV and radio.  This includes Sky, BBC4 and 2, CNN, NBC Canadian TV, Australian TV and many stations in Europe. She was part of CNN’s commentary panel for the May 2018 wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

SANDRA HOWARD

Sandra Howard was one of the leading photographic fashion models of the 1960s and 70s. She is the only model to have appeared on the cover of American Vogue two months in succession. She began doing freelance journalism while still modelling and continues to write for the press alongside writing novels.

Her fifth novel Tell the Girl, set mainly in the Sixties, while not an autobiography, draws heavily on personal experiences and her sixth, The Consequence of Love, recently published, is, though it stands alone in its own right, a sequel to an earlier thriller about home-grown terrorism called A Matter of Loyalty. She is currently working on a novel based on a true story, set in Cairo and East Africa in WW2

She was for many years a trustee of the drug rehabilitation charity, Addaction, and is a Vice-President of Youth Epilepsy.

She is married to the former British Conservative Party leader Michael Howard.

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JESSICA DOUGLAS HOME

Jessica Douglas-Home trained at Chelsea Art School and the Slade School of Fine Art as a painter, etcher and theatre designer. She has had one-man exhibitions of her paintings  in London, Washington and Brussels and has also designed productions for the National Theatre and other London theatres. 


In 1996 her first book, Life and Loves of Violet Gordon Woodhouse,on the musician Violet Gordon Woodhouse, was published and nominated for the Whitbread Award. This her fourth book, is in some ways a sequel to Violet, adding a new dimension to our understanding of the Arts and Crafts movement and the vibrant cultural life in England and Europe between the two World Wars.

Jessica Douglas-Home is President of the Mihai Eminescu Trust which seeks to preserve Romania’s heritage, natural landscape and areas of wilderness. She and was married to the late Lord Leach and lives mainly at Quenington.

CHARLIE HART

Charlie Hart is the author of Skymeadow, the story of how he singlehandedly built a five-acre garden from scratch. When he first visited Peverels, a small farmhouse on the lip of a hill running down into the Peb Valley, he was at breaking point, grieving the loss of his father and anxious about the impending death of his mother. He and his wife Sybilla felt that their London life had been steadily growing in noise: the noise of grief, the noise of busyness, the noise that comes from the expectations of others and, for Charlie, the constant clamour of dissatisfaction at work.

At Peverels, Charlie found an expanse of untouched meadowland, the perfect setting for an audacious garden. Charlie felt an unquenchable urge to dig, to create something. The days he spent wrestling with the soil in the rose garden were the days in which he mourned the loss of his parents. Gardening has taught him that you can dig for victory, but you can also dig for mental health. As the garden formed around Charlie, he buried his fears and anxieties within it. 


Charlie Hart read Theology at Cambridge University before working in a number of roles in London. He now lives and gardens on the Essex Suffolk border with his family.

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JANE RIDLEY

Jane Ridley is a historian, biographer, author, broadcaster, and Professor of Modern History at the University of Buckingham. She has been in charge of the university's Master of Arts course in biography (now called Life Writing) since establishing it in 1996. This was the first such postgraduate course. She is the current Chairman of the Biographers’ Club.


Jane Ridley won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2002 for The Architect and hisWife, a biography of her great-grandfather Edwin Lutyens.  Other books include: The letters of Edwin Lutyens to his wife Lady Emily, ed. with Clayre Percy, Fox Hunting: a history, The Letters of Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho, ed. with Clayre Percy, The Young Disraeli, Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince, Queen Victoria: a short life. She is currently writing the lives of King George V and Queen Mary.

CAROLINE MONTAGUE

Caroline Sandon started writing poetry for her father at the age of five and won a national poetry competition aged nine. She continued to write, whilst juggling first a law degree which she gave up at nineteen to get married, followed by modelling, an interior design career and seven children and step children.


When she married her second husband Conroy Harrowby, with whom she lives at the Cotswold manor house of Burnt Norton – immortalised in the first quartet of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Four Quartets. Here she wrote her first novel, Burnt Norton.inspired by the former inhabitants of the house.

More recently she has signed a two-book deal with Orion. An Italian Affair. telling the story of a family divided by war, comes out this month, The Promise, next year, both under the name of Caroline Montague.  Caroline divides her time between England and Italy.

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JANE CORRY

Christopher Wilson (T.P. Fielden) has unfortunately had to withdraw owing to urgent business in New York. Instead, we are delighted to have secured Jane Corry, many of whose crime thrillers have been on the Sunday Times Best Sellers list. Jane was also writer in residence at a high security prison for men - an experience that helped inspire My Husband's Wife and Blood Sisters. Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. Many of her ideas strike during morning dog-jogs along the beach followed by a dip in the sea - no matter how cold it is!