Hugh Purcell

Hugh Purcell has returned to non fiction writing after a first career in broadcasting, TV and radio. In the 1970s he wrote educational books for the young adult market including ‘The Spanish Civil War’ (a Book of the Year 1978) and ‘Fascism’ (‘exemplary’ The Times 1980).

He has made many documentary films for the BBC, winning both radio and TV awards (including a British Academy Award in 1991) and ending his BBC career as Managing Editor of the TV Documentary Department. After that he directed a successful international documentary film company ‘CAFÉ’ and made films for the USA, UK, France, Spain and Germany.

He has been writing full time since 2002. His first biography, ‘The Last English Revolutionary’: the life and times of Tom Wintringham 1898 – 1949, was published by Sutton in 2004 and has been well reviewed in the national press and periodicals including The Guardian, The Daily Mail, London Review of Books and the New Statesman. He is now writing ‘I Heard It On The Radio”’ a social history of Britain 1927 – 2007 through the medium of radio.

He aims to write readable narrative history with the style of a serious journalist and the first hand research of an historian. His proven skill from the 1970s is to write history that explains complex ideas and events in a simple but not facile style. His interests are modern history and contemporary events, particularly the relationship between ideas and actions. He is a Chevalier d’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has an MA (Hons) in History from the University of Cambridge.