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Author: Secretary

Parkes, Sophie

parkes_sophieSophie has contributed to the music press since she was 15 years old. She specialises in folk and traditional music news, reviews and interviews, and published her first book Wayward Daughter, the official biography of folk musician Eliza Carthy MBE, with Soundcheck Books in 2012.

From Light To Dark, her ghostwritten autobiography of blind endurance athlete and charity fundraiser Dave Heeley, was published by Pitch Publishing in 2016.

Beskin, Geraldine

Geraldine Beskin and her daughter own a bookshop in Bloomsbury that was established in the 1920s.

Her speciality is Western Esotericism, and she has been commissioned by a big American publisher to write about two of the business’ old customers. Geraldine creates biographical talks and presents them at home and around the world.

Eger, Elizabeth

eger_elizabethElizabeth Eger is Reader in English at King’s College London. Her research interests include the history of luxury, 18th-century literary and visual culture and the history of collecting.

She has published Bluestockings: Women of Reason from Enlightenment to Romanticism, and co-curated an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery: Brilliant Women: 18th-Century Bluestockings. She is writing a biography: Elizabeth Montagu: A Life in Letters.

Membership Application

For membership enquiries please contact

You are eligible for membership if:

  • You are a published biographer.
  • You have a commissioned work of biography in progress, but have not as yet been published.
  • You have been researching a work of biography as a student of ‘writing lives and letters’ or affiliated subject (e.g. history, economics, politics, social sciences, natural sciences) as a teacher/lecturer.
  • You are an editor with a publishing house, or its publisher.
  • You are a literary agent.
  • You are a lecturer or professor with a special interest in biography.
  • You are a film, TV or radio producer, director, writer with a keen interest in producing, directing or writing biography; or have already produced, directed or written biographies for a medium other than print format.
  • You are a literary critic/journalist with a keen interest in biography.
  • [For student membership] you are in full-time secondary, undergraduate or post-graduate education.

If for any reason you feel you don’t fit into these categories, or have any queries about how you might still join, please email Nicolas Majerus at explaining why you would like to join the Biographers’ Club and he will try to respond as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours). The Biographers’ Club committee will review applications monthly.

Annual Membership Fees: Full Member £35; Associate Member £30; Student (in full‐time education) £20

If your membership is accepted, we will email you with payment details (by cheque, bank transfer or Direct Debit/Standing Order).

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Hamlyn Williams, Phil

hamlyn_williams_philPhil Hamlyn Williams took an MA in Professional Writing at University College Falmouth in 2008. Since he retired from being Chief Executive of Lincoln Cathedral he has been writing the story of how the British Army was mechanised in WW2. The book is to be published by the History Press in September 2016. His next project is to write a family biography of the man who discovered Charlotte Bronte.

Scrivens, Phyllida

Phyllida Scrivens

Phyllida Scrivens lives in Norwich, Norfolk. Since 2011 she has achieved both a BA in Literature from the Open University and an MA in Biography at the University of East Anglia. Her debut biography, Escaping Hitler: A Jewish Boy’s Quest for Freedom and His Future, was published by Pen and Sword Books in January 2016. It is the story of now 94-year-old Joe Stirling, a Kindertransport refugee whose destiny was to become Sheriff of Norwich. In 2017 Skyhorse Publishing of New York took up the option to publish and distribute the book in the USA and Canada. Phyllida’s second book, a group biography entitled The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich 1923-2017, was published by Pen and Sword Books in 2018. In November the book was awarded the Best Biography prize at the East Anglian Book Awards 2018. Phyllida is a seasoned public speaker, giving illustrated presentations on her two books and research discoveries to groups throughout Norfolk and beyond.

Moran, Michael

Michael Moran has led a varied and adventurous life. Born and educated in Australia and Europe, he spent his twenties wandering the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia. He finally settled among the descendants of the Bounty mutiny on Norfolk Island off the eastern Australian coast. As the Broadcasting Officer for the Administration, he established the radio station.

Subsequently pursuing a career in music, he studied the piano and harpsichord professionally in London for many years, facilitated by his academic work as an English teacher. He has lectured on a variety of subjects, ranging from the music of Fryderyk Chopin and François Couperin to British art and architecture and the colonial history and culture of the South Pacific region. His historical novel, Point Venus, set in the former British penal settlement on Norfolk Island, was successfully published in Australia (Brandl & Schlesinger, Sydney 1998).

Posted for some years to Poland shortly after the fall of communism, he was drawn by a lifelong fascination with Melanesia to the work of the enigmatic Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski. This encounter and an abiding interest in the German Pacific Empire precipitated his latest return to the South Seas. Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific was the fruit of this expedition through the island provinces of Papua New Guinea (HarperCollins, London 2003 and Flamingo 2004). The book was shortlisted for the 2004 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.

He has written a memoir and residence book entitled  A Country in the Moon : Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland. The book was published by Granta in London in 2008 and in Polish translation in 2010 by Wydawnictwo Czarne. It was broadcast in instalments on Polish Radio 3 (Trójka). This cultural odyssey and residence book chronicles his adventures in Poland immediately following the fall of communism and the sometimes entertaining transition to the market economy. It was widely reviewed and remains popular, becoming the classic introduction to the country for the intelligent general reader. In April 2017 he was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award in Travel Literature for this work jointly by the University of Florida and the Eric Friedheim Foundation in New York.

In 2011 Moran was awarded a generous literary grant by the Australia Council (the cultural wing of the Australian government) to write the biography of his grand uncle, the once glamorous and internationally famous but now forgotten Australian concert pianist Edward Cahill (1885-1975). The biography took almost six years to complete and is entitled The Pocket Paderewski: The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill. It was published in November 2016 by Australian Scholarly Publishing (ASP) and has garnered excellent reviews. The book has been presented by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and a specialist Polish Radio 2 (Dwojka) broadcast featuring the music of Fryderyk Chopin. Historic recordings of Chopin and Liszt made by Cahill in the 1930s are available through an internet link published in the preliminaries of the book. He has entered this book  for the 2017 Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a lecturer there and an incessant traveller, Michael Moran lives and works in Warsaw, Sydney and London.

Alan Cumming wins Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize

prize_dinner_sf_shortlistThe Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2015 (£3,500) has gone to Alan Cumming for his memoir NOT MY FATHER’S SON (Canongate).

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John Julius Norwich receives Lifetime Services to Biography Prize

prize_dinner_decourcy_ziegler_norwichThe Biographers’ Club has given its Lifetime Services to Biography Prize 2015 to John Julius Norwich.

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Francesca Wade wins 2015 Tony Lothian Prize

prize_dinner_renton_wade_lewisThe 2015 Tony Lothian Prize, which awards £2,000 to the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography, has gone to Francesca Wade for SQUARE HAUNTING: A GROUP BIOGRAPHY OF EIGHT WOMEN WHO LIVED IN MECKLENBURGH SQUARE BETWEEN THE WARS.

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