I am a British journalist and author. In a 36-year career in Britain, until 2012, I worked for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail and for the last 22 years for the Guardian. I specialised at various times in covering education, politics, Europe and the European Union, religion and British royalty and I reported from more than 40 countries across the world.
The Photographer’s Boy is my first novel and has been more than a decade in the making. Set against the background of the US Civil War, it’s a story of journalism, early war photographers, war and politics: there’s even a little sex.
I’ve previously written three books combining my twin interests of history and journalism: A Church at War was about the struggle over homosexuality in worldwide Anglicanism; God’s Own Country was about the history of American religion and politics and Asquith was a short biography of the Edwardian prime minister H.H. Asquith. I also edited the Bedside Guardian 2012: the annual anthology of the paper’s best articles.
I’ve been fascinated by American history ever since I was a student more than 40 years ago and have visited (and reported from) the US many times – including the locations and battlefields of my novel.
I have two more books coming out next year: both history and both non-fiction:
An Immense Scheme in View: Britain in 1846 is about the great political, economic and social upheavals at the heart of Victorian politics.
And The Poisoner: The Short Life and Deep Crimes of William Palmer is about a man Charles Dickens called “the greatest villain ever to stand in the Old Bailey dock”, a serial killer whose trial transfixed the nation, from Queen Victoria downwards. But did anyone ever really prove that he was guilty?
Read the book from next Spring and find out!
I live in Kent, England, have been married to Alice for 27 years and we have three grown-up children. I was brought up a Roman Catholic but covering religious affairs managed finally to kill off my faith, so I am now an agnostic.
Hope this tells you a little bit about me and my latest books!
Books in order of publication:
A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality – 2004
God’s Own Country: Power and the Religious Right in the USA – 2009
The Photographer’s Boy- 2013
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor – 2014
Royalty Inc: Britain’s Best-Known Brand – 2015