Lucy Hughes-Hallett is a cultural historian and biographer. Her book on Gabriele d’Annunzio, The Pike, was described in The Sunday Times as ‘the biography of the decade’. It won all three of the UK’s most prestigious prizes for non-fiction – the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award. Her other non-fiction books include Cleopatra and Heroes.
She also writes fiction. Her novel, Peculiar Ground, is largely set in the 17th century, and narrated by a landscape designer loosely based on the great diarist John Evelyn. It was described as ‘almost Tolstoyan in its sly wit and descriptive brilliance’ (The Guardian) and ‘full of drama, vivid characters, wit, gorgeous writing and fascinating detail’. (New York Times). In her short story collection, Fabulous, she retells fables from classical mythology, relocating them to modern Britain.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Historical Association, she has written on books, theatre and the visual arts for a number of publications, including The Sunday Times, The Observer, The New Statesman and the TLS, and for Radio 3’s Night Waves. She is Chair of the Judges for the 2021 International Booker Prize.