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 three 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) and the Paris Commune of 1871, LIBERTY’S FIRE (2015). All three have been inspired, very loosely, by her own family history, but none more directly than Liberty’s Fire: Lydia’s anarchist great-great-grandmother moved in Communard circles in late nineteenth-century London and volunteered at Louise Michel’s international school in Fitzrovia. For her adult fiction debut, MR PEACOCK’S POSSESSIONS, Lydia has borrowed from the family history of her partner, who was born in New Zealand.
Lydia Syson is an RLF Fellow at the The Courtauld Institute of Art and one of a small team of children’s authors delivering free creative writing workshops for schools at the Wallace Collection. A former History Girl, she’s a member of SAS, the SoA, the Historical Writers Association and CWISL, Children’s Writers, Illustrators, Stories & Literacy – see the latest quarterly CWISL newsletter and sign up for it below.
SCHOOL VISITS available for KS3, 4 & 5. Lydia is also happy to participate in adult events, and talk to reading groups.