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Daily Archives: 23rd January 2011

Wynn, Antony

Antony Wynn

Author of Three Camels to Smyrna: Times of War & Peace in Turkey, Persia, India & Afghanistan 1907-1988 – The Story of the Oriental Carpet Manufacturers Co. (Hali Books 2008). In its day, this company was far the biggest carpet exporter in the Near and Middle East. This book tells the story of the wars and revolutions of this period through the eyes of the weavers in their villages, the merchants in the small towns and the financiers in London, Paris and New York who backed them. Many books about oriental carpets have been written; this is the first one about the people who made them and brought them from the remotest of villages to the drawing rooms of Europe. The author, who spent four years with the company in Iran, draws on his own experiences to tell the tale.

His first book was Persia in the Great Game – Sir Percy Sykes: Explorer, Consul, Soldier, Spy( John Murray, 2003). Sykes spent 25 years in Iran from 1893 to the end of the First World War as an agent of Curzon’s forward policy to counter Russian expansion southwards towards India. His detailed diaries had much to say about a very turbulent period of Iranian history that even Iranians historians knew little about. It has been translated into Persian and well received.

He spent most of his working life in Iran and has travelled and worked extensively in China, Mongolia and the countries bordering the Caspian Sea. Now spends much of his time at home in a Turkoman yurt, which provides much-needed extra space for the family cottage near Canterbury. He is chairman of The Iran Society, a cultural organization, and edited its journal for seven years. He has also written occasional articles for Cornucopia magazine, a quarterly magazine for connoisseurs of Turkey, and for Hali Magazine, which specializes in oriental rugs.

He is currently working on the story of Maria Stella, who was believed by many in France and Italy to have been exchanged at birth for the son of a Florentine gaoler, who went on to become King Louis-Philippe of France. He is waiting for an opportunity to examine the Vatican Archivi Segreti , where there is a contemporary file that might prove the truth of the story once and for all.

Also in gestation is a contemporary travel book about Iran. While searching the remoter parts of the country for herbs and spices such as saffron, cumin, henna and manna, the author listens to what the people he meets have to say about their lives and their beliefs, with a glance at the ruins of caravanserais and castles that he comes across – and the people who built and destroyed them. It is a search for the inextinguishable essence of Persia that has survived countless invasions, revolutions and disasters.

Woodhead, Lindy

Lindy Woodhead

Lindy Woodhead founded her PR Agency specialising in international fashion and luxury retail in 1973. Over the decades her clients have included a roll-call of celebrated names: Browns of South Molton Street, Karl Lagerfeld, Garrard & Co (when Crown Jewellers), Louis Vuitton, Cerruti 1881, Ferragamo, Valentino and Yves St Laurent amongst many others. She became the first woman on the Board of Directors at Harvey Nichols (1988-1991) on her appointment as publicity and marketing director. Lindy retired from PR in 2000 to write full time.

Her first book, WAR PAINT: Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry, was published by Virago in 2003 to critical acclaim. Subsequently published by Wiley in the USA, War Paint has been translated for publication in Japan, Taiwan and Poland. An award-winning television documentary based on her book has been screened by PBS in America and distributed world-wide. Lindy toured extensively to promote War Paint, giving presentations and talks in Ireland, France, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Her second book, Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge, was published by Profile in 2007. Radio Four’s ‘Book of the Week’, it has now been adapted by Andrew Davies into the successful Sunday night series ‘Mr Selfridge’. Made by ITV Studios/Co-produced with Masterpiece-PBS, Series One opened in January 2013 to an audience of 8.5 million. Sold already to over 99 world-wide territories by ITV Global Studios, Series Two (set in 1914) is now in production, with Lindy returning to the project as Retail History and Script Consultant.

Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge is now published by Random House in America, where the television series ‘Mr Selfridge’ launched on Masterpiece on March 31st 2013.

Lindy’s new book Midnight Mother (the biography of 1920s illegal night club owner Kate ‘Ma’ Meyrick) will come from Weidenfeld in July 2017.

Married with two sons, Lindy divides her time between S.W. London and South West France. She continues to act as a guest lecturer and presenter, broadcaster and freelance writer for many prestige titles, where her favourite topic is early 20th-century social history particularly ‘eccentricities’ in connection with fashion, style and entertainment. Her hobbies are archive research (which she likens to the thrill of archaeological discovery), jewel history, gardening and making jam & chutney with fruit from her gardens in France.

Literary Agent: Eugenie Furniss at Furniss  Lawton (
Film & Television Agent: Lucinda Prain at Casarotto Ramsay

Wilson, Christopher

Christopher Wilson

Williams, Tom

Tom Williams

Williams, Stephanie

Stephanie Williams

Stephanie Williams was born in Canada. Her mother was born in China, to a young Russian refugee who had escaped the brutality of the Bolshevik revolution. Stephanie grew up moving constantly across Canada, Europe and the United States, before taking a degree in history at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and becoming a London-based journalist. When perestroika came to Russia it was possible to begin to investigate the truth of her grandmother’s tumultuous past. Researching and writing Olga’s Story took ten years. Stephanie’s latest book, Running the Show: Governors of the British Empire, was inspired by the discovery of an 1879 questionnaire that revealed the extraordinary variety of conditions under which British governors and their families were living around the world.

Williams, Kate

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is the author of Emma Hamilton: England’s Mistress, a  biography of Lady Hamilton (1765-1815) based on over two hundred and fifty new letters from archives and collections around the world (published by Random House in the UK and US in 2006). Becoming Queen was published by Hutchinson in 2008, and her historical novel The Pleasures of Men is due out from Michael Joseph in summer 2011.

Kate lectures to historical societies and groups around the country. She also consults and appears on TV programmes. Over the past year, she has appeared on ‘Nelson’s Trafalgar’ on BBC 1 with Michael Portillo, ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash:The realities of Nelson’s Navy’ on Channel 4, ‘Richard and Judy’ on Channel 4, and reviewed the newspapers on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Broadcasting House’.

She grew up in Staffordshire, and took her BA at Oxford University, an MA in eighteenth-century culture at Queen Mary, University of London and a DPhil at Oxford University. Her work is published in journals and books, most recently on and in Admiral Lord Nelson: Context and Legacy, edited by David Cannadine and published by Palgrave.

Whelpton, Vivien

Vivien Whelpton

Educated at Bedford College London, Vivien Whelpton was a secondary school teacher of English and  Media Studies for forty years, retiring from the profession in 2006. She has an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College London and a special interest in the poets of the First World War. She has conducted battlefield tours for several years, and has published monographs in the Cecil Woolf War Poets series and contributed articles to the War Poetry Review and the Wilfred Owen Association and Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship journals. Her biography of Richard Aldington, founder member of the Imagist Movement, writer of the best-selling novel Death of a Hero, and subsequently notorious for his iconoclastic biography of T.E. Lawrence, was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize in 2011 and published by Lutterworth Press in January 2014.


Warnick, Marilyn

Marilyn Warnick

Waller, David

David Waller

David Waller is a former financial journalist who now writes historical biographies. His first was The Magnificent Mrs Tennant, a life of Gertrude Tennant, a hitherto forgottem Victorian grande dame who had a fling with Gustave Flaubert and operated a literary and artistic salon in the heart of Whitehall. Based on Waller’s discovery of a cache of documents in a home counties attic, including two dozen letters from Flaubert himself, the book was published by Yale University Press in 2009. The Magnificent Mrs Tennant received some flattering reviews and was runner-up for the Biographers’ Club Best First Biography Prize. He is putting the finishing touches to another life of a Victorian figure which he hopes will be published in 2013. He is delighted to be on the panel of judges for the 2011 Tony Lothian Prize.

Tindall, Gillian

Gillian Tindall

Gillian Tindall began her career as a novelist: one of her early novels, Fly Away Home, won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1972. She has continued to publish fiction, and has contributed short stories and plays to Radio 4, but has also staked out a particular territory in non-fiction, especially in idiosyncratic historical studies centred on specific places. Her The Fields Beneath: the history of one London village, which first appeared almost thirty years ago, has rarely been out of print since; nor has Célestine: voices from a French village, published in the mid-‘90s and translated into several languages, for which she has been decorated by the French Government.

She has also published a seminal work City of Gold: the biography of Bombay (1982), which helped to set off the architectural conservation movement in that city. More conventionally-shaped biographies have been The Born Exile: George Gissing (1974) one of the first comprehensive studies of this haunting, late-Victorian novelist, and The Journey of Martin Nadaud (1999), which deals, among other themes, with the physical transformation of Paris in the nineteenth century. The place theme has also continued in her Countries of the Mind: the meaning of place to writers (1991). A more recent study, The Man who drew London: Wenceslaus Hollar in reality and imagination, employs the techniques of both biography and fiction, but her latest book, which appears in 2006 GT has published and will be called Across the Water from St Paul’s: The House by the Thames, and the people who lived there returns to the micro-historical approach of The Fields Beneath.

She has lived in the same house in London for the last forty years, with another home in an obscure part of central France. She can be reached via her agent, Curtis Brown Ltd.