Richard Lee founded the Historical Novel Society in 1997 after trying to join it, only to find it didn’t exist. The society has since developed in many unforeseen ways, following the enthusiasms of the active membership, with Richard trying to keep as light a hand on the tiller as possible. It is with bemusement but great pride that he regards the society’s robust health nineteen years on. Richard has been involved with the organisation of many HNS conferences, set up the HNS New Novel Award and the HNS Indie Award, co-hosted the Cambridge History Festivals, and ran author talks for two years at English Heritage’s flagship Kirby Hall re-enactment event. He has been a judge of the CWA’s Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge Trophy and the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards. Richard studied English at Merton College, Oxford, and has worked for many years bookselling with WH Smith and Waterstone’s. One day he will finish his novel of the Crusades.
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This page will be updated as more guests and speakers are confirmed, so please check back to see the latest additions.
ALISON WEIR is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published eighteen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and seven historical novels. Her latest biography is Queens of the Conquest, and her third novel in her Six Tudor Queens series – Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen, (the subject of her presentation) will be out in May 2018.
Over the last decade SARAH DUNANT has proved herself to be THE novelist of the Italian Renaissance. She is the author of the international bestsellers The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan and Sacred Hearts. Her latest novels Blood and Beauty and In the name of the Family, (the subject of her presentation) focus on Machiavelli & the Borgias.
ROBIN ELLIS is a British actor best known for playing the leading role in the original BBC series, Poldark, based on the novels of Winston Graham. His most recent role was in the new Mammoth Screen/BBC adaptation of Poldark (2015-17). He is the author of a memoir entitled Making Poldark and now also writes cookbooks based on Mediterranean cuisine.
Robin lives in Southwestern France with his American wife and a menagerie of animals.