Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river with her partner and four children. After an early career as a BBC World Service Radio producer, she turned from the spoken to the written word, and developed an enduring obsession with history. Her PhD about poets, explorers and Timbuktu was followed by a biography of Britain’s first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, and then two YA novels for Hot Key Books set in the Spanish Civil War (A WORLD BETWEEN US - 2012) and World War Two (THAT BURNING SUMMER - 2013). LIBERTY’S FIRE (2015), a passionate tale of the Paris Commune of 1871, is the third of her novels to be inspired, very loosely, by family history: Lydia’s anarchist great-great-grandmother moved in Communard circles in late nineteenth-century London. LAST HOPE, a contemporary ghost story with a political and historical twist, is among the exclusive resources available in 2015/16 to subscribers of the National Literacy’s Trust’s reading intervention programme, Premier League Football Stars.
Lydia Syson is an RLF Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a Visiting Lecturer at City University, London. A former History Girl, she’s a member of SAS, the SoA, the Historical Writers Association and CWISL, Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London – see the latest quarterly CWISL newsletter and sign up for it below. Listen to her talking about historical YA fiction with Catherine Johnson on DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, Resonance FM.
SCHOOL VISITS available for KS3, 4 & 5. Lydia is also happy to participate in adult events, and talk to reading groups.