Jonathon Conlin

Jonathan Conlin is a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain who teaches at the University of Southampton. His first book, The Nation’s Mantelpiece (2006) was an institutional biography of the National Gallery, and he has written shorter pieces on the history of pleasure gardens (Vauxhall in particular), department stores, cemeteries and exhibitions. In 2009 he organized a series of events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 BBC2 series Civilisation, and published a book on this landmark series, commissioned by the BFI. He is regularly invited to comment on museums and broader questions of national heritage, on ITV’s South Bank Show, History Today magazine and the Today programme, for example.

His current projects include a comparative history of Paris and London, as well as biographical studies of the eighteenth-century French diplomat and transvestite the Chevalier d’Eon, the muck-raking journalist and demagogue John Wilkes and the somewhat less disreputable Victorian novelist Charles Kingsley.