Helen Castor is a historian of the later middle ages and sixteenth century. She studied for her BA and PhD at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and was elected to a Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1993. In the following year she was appointed Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
She remains a Bye-Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, but since 2002 she has concentrated on writing history for a broader readership. Her book Blood & Roses is a biography of the fifteenth-century Paston family, whose remarkable letters are the earliest surviving collection of private correspondence in the English language. Blood & Roses was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2005, and was awarded the Beatrice White Prize (for outstanding scholarly work in the field of English Literature before 1590) by the English Association in 2006. Her next book, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth, was widely selected as one of the books of the year for 2010.
Her latest book, Joan of Arc: A History, was selected as one of the books of the year for 2014 in the Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday and the Evening Standard, and longlisted for the PEN America/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography in 2015.
She has presented programmes for BBC television, Channel 4 and BBC Radio, including Radio 4’s Making History, and documentaries based on She-Wolves and Joan of Arc for BBC Four and BBC Two.
Helen has one son, and lives in London.
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