I’m a historian and novelist, a speaker, and occasionally a television presenter and voice in the radio.
Between 2009 and 2013 I created the Georgian London blog, the largest free body of work on the eighteenth century city online, and my book about the same. My book, Georgian London: Into the Streets, was published by Viking for Penguin in 2013 and shortlisted for the History Today Longman Prize. Described variously as, ‘a great read by a talented new historian‘, ‘something quite delicious‘, ‘packed to the brim with the minutiae of life’, and my personal favourite, ‘If you could cram all your Georgian facts into a large glass and drink it, here it is, the flavour reeking of sex, booze, coffee, tea, dismembered whale parts, rot and riot‘. ‘Her passionate curiosity and love for the city rise off the page like smoke‘, and it’s out now in hardback and paperback from wherever you like to buy your books.
As of 2014, I am writing Milk of Paradise, a book on opium’s past and present, for Macmillan.
My first novel, City of Halves, came out with Chicken House in April 2014 and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Branford Boase award. In autumn 2015, Chicken House will publish Crow Mountain, a novel about the birth of the state of Montana, set between 1867 and the present day, as two young women cut the binds of family and society to discover who they really are, and where they belong.
I write and speak on history in Europe and the US, and here in the UK, in institutions such as the Museum of London, the Handel House Museum, the Guildhall and the British Library, to an eighteenth century model workers’ village on a remote Scottish peninsula. I am not an academic historian, and my speaking and teaching is informal, interactive and fun. I am interested in improving the experience of learning history and its relevance for all of us and have taken workshops and taught courses on the history of homosexuality, immigration and this year, a particularly memorable residential course for the blind and deaf. If you want me to speak at your event, go here.
Sometimes, I am on television or Radio 3 or 4. On screen, I presented Fight Club: A History of Violence, about female bare-knuckle boxing in gin-soaked Georgian London and was on the Great British Bake Off, talking about the history of cookery writing. I was in Grave Trade for the History Channel and the Georgians series for the BBC, which were part of the 300th anniversary of George I coming to the throne in 2014.
When not doing any of the above and sometimes when I should be, I can be found pissing about on twitter, where I am far more likely to talk about none of the above in favour of the serious social problems of our time, such as hipsters.http://lucyinglis.com/about/