Caitlin Davies

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Caitlin Davies
Born 1964 (age 49–50)

Caitlin Davies (born 1964) is an English author, journalist and teacher. Her parents are Margaret Forster and Hunter Davies, both well-known writers. Caitlin's father wrote regularly about her and her brother Jake and sister Flora in a weekly Punch magazine column which ran in the 1970s, giving a broad insight into their upbringing.

Although born in England, Davies has been associated with Botswana since 1990 when she met her husband, the former MP Ronald Ridge, while studying for a Masters in English at Clark University, USA. Relocating to Botswana and working as a teacher, and then a freelance journalist, she wrote for Botswana's first tabloid newspaper The Voice and then as editor of The Okavango Newspaper. She was twice arrested as a journalist, once for 'causing fear and alarm', and acquitted. She also received a journalist of the year award.

While living in Botswana she wrote the novel Jamestown Blues and the historical work The Return of El Negro. The victim of a brutal assault and rape, she was active in research concerning domestic violence in Botswana and a founder member of Women Against Rape (WAR) in Maun.

She returned to England with her daughter after divorcing her husband and published a memoir about her experiences, called Place of Reeds, and for six years wrote education and careers features for The Independent newspaper.

She has published several novels since then; Black Mulberries (2008), Friends Like Us (2009) and The Ghost of Lily Painter (2011) a fictionalised account of two Edwardian baby farmers who were hanged at Holloway Prison in 1903. Her most recent novel is Family Likeness (2013) which draws on the experiences of UK children born to GIs during World War Two, and on the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle.

She has also written an illustrated non-fiction book on the bathing ponds and lido on Hampstead Heath, with photographer Ruth Corney, and a social history of Camden Lock.

She is currently writing Downstream: a social history of swimming the River Thames, to be published by Aurum in 2015, and a novel based on the life of a Victorian woman, a champion lady swimmer of the world.

In 2013 she was selected as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow in London.


  • Jamestown Blues. London ; New York : Penguin, 1996.
  • The Return of El Negro : the compelling story of Africa's unknown soldier / Caitlin Davies. Sandton : Penguin Books (South Africa) ; Johannesburg : Thorold’s Africana Books [distributor], 2003.
  • Place of Reeds. London : Simon & Schuster, 2005.
  • Black Mulberries. London : Pocket, 2008.
  • Friends like us. London : Pocket, 2009.
  • The Ghost of Lily Painter. London : Hutchinson, 2011. London : Windmill, 2012.
  • Taking the Waters : a Swim around Hampstead Heath. Caitlin Davies and Ruth Corney. London : Frances Lincoln, 2012.
  • Camden Lock and the Market. London: Frances Lincoln, 2013
  • Family Likeness. London: Hutchinson, 2013. London : Windmill, 2014.

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