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Author: Secretary

Campbell, Katharine

Katharine Campbell

Dr Katharine Campbell is currently working on the first biography of her late father Sholto (Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Douglas of Kirtleside), with special emphasis on her father’s lifelong battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. She was trained as a neuroscientist, having completed an MSc in Biomedical Sciences Research (with distinction) at King’s College and University College London (UCL), followed by a PhD in Neuroscience at UCL. Subsequently, she worked for many years as a postdoctoral neurophysiologist on the development of pain processing in human infants, during which time she published a number of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. She completed a six-month course in biography and autobiography with the Guardian and the University of East Anglia in 2012.

As a result of her research on her father, she has been asked to write articles for Christ Church College Oxford, the International Brigades Memorial Trust, the RAF Museum and 43 Fighter Squadron RAF, and was invited to appear in the BBC documentary Fighting for King and Empire, Britain’s Caribbean Heroes, in which she spoke about her father’s support of Afro-Caribbean servicemen and women. In the autumn of 2017, she was asked by the cultural department of the city of Paderborn in Germany to speak at the opening of a large exhibition, Briten in Westfalen, about her father’s role as Military Governor of the British Zone, and while there she was interviewed by the British Forces Broadcasting Service. She was also commissioned to write a chapter in a book, A Cherry Dress, which was published in December 2017 by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, about her father’s half-brother Donald’s wife, Anita Bild, an Austrian Jewish refugee whom he married in 1939 to save her from deportation. The book was launched to an enthusiastic reception in Vienna in January 2018, and has received very favourable reviews. She is invited to all major RAF events, including its Centenary Service in Westminster Abbey in 2018, when she led the prayers and was interviewed by the BBC. She has rewarding collaborations with historians in France, Germany, Austria, Poland and the UK, and with leading experts on PTSD in Australia and the Netherlands.

Katharine was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize in 2018.

Hermione Lee receives Exceptional Contribution award

Hermione Lee receives Exceptional Contribution award

Hermione Lee received the Biographers’ Club Exceptional Contribution to Biography award at an event at Maggs Bros in Beford Square, where she was in conversation with Richard Holmes, himself a past winner of the award.

Their conversation ranged over the complex and sometimes contradictory lives of their subjects (“everybody’s life is a muddle”, Lee observed), chronological vs thematic approaches, conflicting accounts in one’s sources, the biography of blame, and the sometimes daunting scope of projects.

Jane Ridley, Biographer’s Club chair, presented Lee with an engraved Mont Blanc pen. Guests at the packed event included Julian Barnes, Caroline Moorehead, Anne Chisholm, Anne de Courcy, Rachel Cooke, and Valerie Grove.

Previous winners

West, Tessa

Tessa West

Tessa West didn’t set out to be a writer. She trained as a teacher and enjoyed working with young children until the chance came to teach in a prison. She jumped at this and immediately became interested in the community of the prison and in her adult students. A Winston Churchill Fellowship enabled her to visit prisons in Scandinavia, a very positive experience which confirmed her determination that prisons can and should be purposeful for prisoners and staff.

She began to write poetry and undertook a creative writing course in which she was mentored by Sara Maitland. She has since completed four novels, and several collections of poems, one of which was the result of an MA in Writing the Visual at Norwich University College of the Arts.

It was only when she had completed her first novel that she realised that what really interests her are identity and belonging. These two significant aspects of being human are at the core of her two biographies.

In 2011 Waterside Press published her biography The Curious Mr Howard, about the prison reformer, and in 2018 Shepheard- Walwyn published her Lady Sue Ryder of Warsaw.

Lady Sue Rider of Warsaw was a finalist in the summer 2018 round of the People’s Book Prize.

Waddell, Heather

Heather Waddell

Heather Waddell is an author, art critic, biographer, and was a publisher. In 1980 she created the Art Guide series to London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Australia, and sold the series in 1987 to A&C Black, now part of Bloomsbury. Her books include: London Art and Artist’s Guide (12 editions so far); The Artists’ Directory; A Handbook to the Contemporary British Art World (3 edns); The London Art World 1979-99; Henri Goetz: Fifty Years of Painting, and many artist catalogues.

She has contributed to L’Ecosse; lumiere, granit et vent and Londres (Editions Autrement, France); The London Encyclopaedia (3 editions, Macmillan); Art Criticism in Africa; Blue Guide to Spain; Time Out‘s guides to London and New York (visual arts editor of many editions in the 1990s). She has written as an art critic for Vie des Arts (London correspondent 1979-89), the Herald, the Independent and Independent on Sunday, and the Times, as well as international art magazines, and is a freelance art critic on BBC World TV (2014-). Twenty of her artist/art world photo portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery photography collection. She gave a lecture on “West End Families 1880-1970; When Glasgow Was Second City of the British Empire” at the West End Festival in 2018.

Ward, Michael

Michael Ward

Michael Ward is writing a biography of Beatrice and Sidney Webb, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan. He previously worked in local government and economic development.

Midorikawa, Emily

Emily Midorikawa

Emily Midorikawa is the author of A Secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Brontё, Eliot and Woolf, co-written with Emma Claire Sweeney and with a foreword by Margaret Atwood. She also co-runs the blog Something Rhymed, which celebrates female literary friendship. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Her journalism has appeared in, among others, the Daily Telegraph, the Paris Review, the Times and the Washington Post.

Pullen, Christine

Christine Pullen

Christine Pullen is an independent scholar and biographer who has contributed articles to scholarly journals, presented papers at conferences and lectured on various aspects of late nineteenth-century social history and women’s writing. Her first full length publication, The Woman Who Dared: A Biography of Amy Levy, was issued by Kingston University Press in November 2010.

Clark, Adrian

Adrian Clark

Adrian Clark writes on 20th-century British art. He has published British and Irish Art 1945-1951: From War to Festival (Hogarth Arts, 2010); Queer Saint: The Cultured Life of Peter Watson (John Blake, 2015); and Fighting on All Fronts: John Rothenstein in the Art World (Unicorn, 2018).

Doughty, Simon

Simon Doughty

Simon Doughty was commissioned into The Life Guards in 1976, retiring from the Army in 2009 in the rank of colonel. He is a graduate of the Army Staff College, Camberley, and undertook a Defence Fellowship at Kings College, London, gaining an MA in War Studies in 1997.

He now edits The Guards Magazine and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

He has collaborated with the photographer James Kerr on two photographic and textural studies of the First World War landscape: Silent Landscape – Western Front (2016, reprinted 2018), and Silent Landscape – Gallipoli (2018), published by Helion Books.

Simon’s book on The Guards Regiments during The First World War, The Guards Came Through, was published by Third Millennium (an imprint of Profile Books Ltd) in 2016.

Simon’s current project is a biography of Field Marshal The Earl of Cavan, who commanded the Guards Division during the First World War and was the Chief of the Imperial General Staff in the 1920s.

Briggs, Paddy

briggs_paddyPaddy Briggs has one published biography behind him and has recently been commissioned to write another. His published work was John Shepherd – The Loyal Cavalier, which was the story of the West Indian Test cricketer and loyal servant of county cricket John Shepherd (Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, 2009). His latest project is a biography of the distinguished pensions expert and campaigner for the disabled Alan Pickering CBE, who was the author of the “Pickering Report” published at the request of the Government in 2002 (Biteback 2017).