I was was born in London in 1982. I received a double first in English from Cambridge University and an MA with Distinction in Intellectual and Cultural History from Queen Mary University of London. My first book, How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette, the Stolen Diamonds and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne, was published in 2014 by John Murray in the UK and the Da Capo Press in the USA. It won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Royal Society of Literature/Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for American Library in Paris Book Award.
I’m the deputy editor of 1843, the international lifestyle and general interest magazine published by The Economist. For nearly eight years, I was senior editor of Literary Review, and I continue to serve as its editor-at-large. I’ve written for numerous publications, including The Times, the London Review of Books, the Observer, the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Daily Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal.