Related to: 'How to Create the Perfect Wife'


The Mesmerist

Wendy Moore
Wendy Moore

Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Surgery was performed without anaesthesia, while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. Two pioneering men of science aimed to change all this - the progressive physician John Elliotson, and Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet magazine. But when the flamboyant Baron Jules Denis Dupotet arrived in London to promote the latest craze that was sweeping through Europe - mesmerism - the scene was set for an explosive confrontation . . .



Wendy Moore
Wendy Moore

WEDLOCK is the remarkable story of the Countess of Strathmore and her marriage to Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary Eleanor Bowes was one of Britain's richest young heiresses. She married the Count of Strathmore who died young, and pregnant with her lover's child, Mary became engaged to George Gray. Then in swooped Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary was bowled over and married him within the week.But nothing was as it seemed. Stoney was broke, and his pursuit of the wealthy Countess a calculated ploy. Once married to Mary, he embarked on years of ill treatment, seizing her lands, beating her, terrorising servants, introducing prostitutes to the family home, kidnapping his own sister. But finally after many years, a servant helped Mary to escape. She began a high-profile divorce case that was the scandal of the day and was successful. But then Andrew kidnapped her and undertook a week-long rampage of terror and cruelty until the law finally caught up with him.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include Mary Queen of Scots, King Charles II, The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England, which won the Wolfson History Prize, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 and The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829. Must You Go?, a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and My History: A Memoir of Growing Up in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at

Barry Strauss

Barry Strauss read History at Cornell and gained a PhD at Yale in 1979. He is now Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University. The author of nine books, he has appeared in many TV documentaries, and has contributed op-ed pieces to the WASHINGTON POST and LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Bernhard Schlink

Bernhard Schlink was born in Germany is 1944. A professor of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, and Cardozo Law School, New York, he is the author of the major internationally bestselling novel The Reader, which became an Oscar-winning film starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, the short story collections Flights of Love and Summer Lies, and several prize-winning crime novels. He lives in Berlin and New York.

Blair Worden

Blair Worden is a historian, among the leading authorities on the period of the English Civil War. He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Sussex and Chicago. After a period as a Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he took up a position as a Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. As of 2011 he is an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall.

Chris Skidmore

Chris Skidmore is the author of four books on medieval and Tudor history: Richard III, Bosworth, Edward VI and Death and the Virgin. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is also the Member of Parliament for Kingswood and in July 2016 was appointed as Minister for the Constitution in the Cabinet

Douglas Hurd

Douglas Hurd is a politician, biographer and novelist who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95). His previous books include his MEMOIRS, ROBERT PEEL: A BIOGRAPHY and, with Edward Young, CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS: THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY - 200 YEARS OF ARGUMENT, SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

Erica James

Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into twelve languages. Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her insatiable appetite for other people's business and a willingness to strike up a conversation with just about anybody.To find out more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or

Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn is the bestselling author of three novels, including the international phenomenon Gone Girl. Her first novel, Sharp Objects, was the winner of two CWA Daggers and was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger, and her second, Dark Places, was adapted into a film starring Charlize Theron. Gone Girl was a massive No.1 bestseller, with over 15 million sales worldwideand was made into a critically-acclaimed, smash-hit film by David Fincher, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. The screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta. Her short story, 'The Grownup', won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2015. Gillian also served as writer and executive producer for the television series of Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

Hunter Davies

Hunter Davies is the author of over thirty books which include such modern classics as the authorised biography of The Beatles, The Glory Game and A Walk Around the Lakes. He has written several other walking books and also a travel biography of Christopher Columbus which took him to the West Indies and the Americas. He is also well known as a broadcaster and journalist and writes for the Independent, Sunday Times, Daily Mail and New Statesman. He was married to the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster from 1961 until her death in 2016.

Introduced and Edited by Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991. He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. He published Napoleon and Wellington in 2001.

Joanna Russ

Joanna Russ was born in New York City and is regarded as one of the leading feminist science fiction writers. She died in 2011.

Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid won the National Sporting Club Book of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. His other books include Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football; Sunderland: A Club Transformed; The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches; Nobody Ever Says Thank You, a critically acclaimed biography of Brian Clough; The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper; The Anatomy of Liverpool; Angels with Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina; and The Anatomy of Manchester United. He writes for the Guardian, Sports Illustrated and World Soccer, and he is the editor of The Blizzard. Follow him on Twitter at:

Justina Robson

Justina Robson is an Arthur C. Clarke shortlisted author of ten SFF novels, including the highly regarded Quantum Gravity series, and was one of the first writers to win's Writer's Bursary in 2000. Based in Leeds, she's been shortlisted for multiple international awards and is a sought-after creative writing teacher who has taught at the Arvon Foundation. A graduate of the Clarion West workshops in Seattle (1996) she has been invited to teach there also, though she hasn't made it yet for various practical reasons. She acted as a judge for the Arthur C Clarke awards on behalf of the Science Fiction Foundation in 2006. Her most recently published novel is Glorious Angels, shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel 2015. You can learn more at or by following @JustinaRobson on Twitter.

Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon studied English and Drama at Bristol University, has taught and trained extensively both in creative writing and within the criminal justice system, has served on The Sentencing Council and The Judicial Appointments Commission and currently works for the Royal Literary Fund developing projects that help writers use their unique skills in the community. She is the author of ten novels, including The Alchemist's Daughter and The Crimson Rooms, that focus on astonishing women and their ability to find a voice and make a mark, even at times and in societies when they are risking everything. The Rose of Sebastopol was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times

Leonie Frieda

Swedish by birth, but educated in Britain, France and Germany, Leonie Frieda speaks five languages and is a member of the Institute of Linguists. She is the author of a bestselling biography of Catherine de Medici, and The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance. She lives in London and has two children.

Liz Fenwick

Liz Fenwick, award-winning author, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer, was born in Massachusetts, and at the age of twenty-six moved to London where she fell in love with an Englishman. After nine international moves, she now spends her time in Cornwall with her husband and her mad cat, writing stories inspired by the beautiful Duchy.Find out more at or follow her on Twitter @liz_fenwick

Liza Picard

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She is the bestselling author an acclaimed series of books on the history of London: Elizabeth's London, Restoration London, Dr Johnson's London and Victorian London. Her most recent book, Chaucer's People, explores the Middle Ages through the lives of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. She read law at the London School of Economics and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn, but did not practise. She worked for many years in the office of the Solicitor of the Inland Revenue before retiring to become a full-time author. She lives in London.

Martin Gilbert

Born in London in 1936 and now resident in north London, Sir Martin Gilbert was educated at Highgate School and Magdalene College, Oxford. An outstanding historian of the 20th century, he became the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill in 1968 and has written to great acclaim on the Holocaust and the events of the Second World War.