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Miranda Jane Seymour (born 8 August 1948) is an English literary critic, novelist, and biographer.
Miranda Seymour was two years old when her parents moved into Thrumpton Hall, the family's ancestral home in Nottinghamshire. This celebrated Jacobean mansion is on the south bank of the River Trent at the secluded village of Thrumpton. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and, in recent years, a visiting Professor of English Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, Seymour is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is an alumna of Bedford College, London, now part of Royal Holloway, University of London (BA English, 1981).
In 1972 she married the novelist and historian Andrew Sinclair and had a son, Merlin. Her second marriage, to Anthony Gottlieb, then executive editor of The Economist and author of a history of Western philosophy, ended in 2003. A transatlantic literary room-swap has led to her third marriage, in 2006, to Ted Lynch, a Bostonian. Seymour divides her time between London and Thrumpton Hall, now dually used by the family and for weddings and corporate events.
Biographies by Miranda Seymour include lives of Ottoline Morrell, Mary Shelley, Robert Graves (about whom she also wrote a novel, The Telling and a radio play, Sea Music) and a group portrait of Henry James during his later years (A Ring of Conspirators). In 2001, Seymour came across material on Hellé Nice, a glamorous, long-forgotten French Grand Prix racing driver from the 1930s. After extensive research on a well-buried subject, she published a highly acclaimed book (2004) about Hellé Nice's extraordinary and ultimately tragic life. In 2008 she published In My Father's House: Elegy for an Obsessive Love (Simon and Schuster, UK). The same book is published in the US as Thrumpton Hall (Harper Collins) and won the 2008 Pen Ackerley Prize for Memoir of the Year. Always attracted by unusual and challenging subjects, Seymour has most recently published the life of a charismatic 1930s film star, Virginia Cherrill, based upon a substantial archive in private ownership. Noble Endeavours: Stories from England; Stories from Germany is published in September 2013.
- The Stones of Maggiare (1975)
- Count Manfred (1976)
- Daughter of Darkness (1977)
- Goddess (1979)
- Madonna of the Island (1980)
- Medea (1981)
- Carrying On (1984)
- The Reluctant Devil (1990)
- The Summer of '39 (1998) published in the UK as The Telling
- Mumtaz the Magical Cat (1984)
- Caspar and the Secret Kingdom (1986)
- The Vampire of Verdonia (1986)
- Pierre and the Pamplemousse (1989)
- A Ring of Conspirators: Henry James and his literary circle, 1895-1915 (1988)
- Ottoline Morrell: Life on the Grand Scale (1993)
- Robert Graves: Life on the Edge (1995)
- Mary Shelley (2001)
- Brief History of Thyme (2002)
- The Bugatti Queen: In Search of a Motor-Racing Legend (2004)
- In My Father's House (2007) Thrumpton Hall in the US (2008)
- Chaplin's Girl: The Life and Loves of Virginia Cherrill (2009)
- Official homepage
- Transcript of interview with Ramona Koval, The Book Show, ABC Radio National 1 April 2007
- House Proud Book review of Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir of Life in My Father's House by Charles McGrath New York Times 27 July 2008
- 'The Knife by the Handle at Last' Tim Parks review of Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir of Life in My Father's House from The New York Review of Books - Subscription based