Peter Stanford

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For the British admiral, see Peter Stanford (Royal Navy officer).
Peter Stanford
Born Peter Stanford
(1961-11-23) 23 November 1961 (age 53)
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
Ethnicity English
Occupation Journalist, author, broadcaster
Notable credit(s) Catholic Herald, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday
Recorded at Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2013

Peter James Stanford (born 23 November 1961)[1] is an English writer, editor, journalist and presenter.


Peter Stanford is an alumnus of St Anselm's College, Birkenhead.[1] He was the editor of The Catholic Herald, and a regular contributor to the New Statesman.

He has written many books, mainly biographies and books about religion. He has written for The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Independent on Sunday.[1]

Stanford was editor of The Catholic Herald from which he resigned. He, along with Kate Saunders, authored the book Catholics and Sex in 1992.[2] Stanford and Saunders later presented a television series based on the book on Channel 4.[3]



Stanford has written many books since leaving The Catholic Herald in 1992:

  • Cardinal Hume: And the Changing Face of English Catholicism, Geoffrey Chapman Publishers, London (1993). ISBN 0-225-66658-8. A biography of Basil Hume.
  • Lord Longford: A Life, William Heinemann, London (1994). ISBN 0-434-73516-7. A biography of Lord Longford, the British Labour Party politician and penal reform campaigner
  • The Anatomy of the Catholic Church: Before and since John Paul II (co-written with Gerard Noel), Michael Russell Publishing, Norwich (1994). ISBN 0-85955-203-9.
  • The Catholics and their Houses (co-written with Leanda De Lisle), Harper Collins, London (1995). ISBN 0-00-627924-4
  • The Devil: A Biography, Henry Holt & Co, New York (1996). ISBN 0-8050-3082-4. Later made into a television series.[3]
  • The She-Pope: A Quest for the Truth behind the Mystery of Pope Joan, Heinemann, London (1998).ISBN 0-434-02458-9. An investigation into the legend of Pope Joan.
  • Bronwen Astor: Her Life and Times, Harper Collins, London (1999). ISBN 0-00-255839-4. A biography of Bronwen Astor
  • The Legend of Pope Joan: In Search of the Truth, Henry Holt & Co, New York (1999). ISBN 0-8050-3910-4.
  • Faith: A Journey With Those Who Believe. Art Books Intl. Ltd., London (2000). ISBN 0-9536756-2-9.
  • Lord Longford's Prison Diary (ed.), Lion Pub, Oxford (2000). ISBN 0-7459-5001-9.
  • Heaven: A Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country, Harper Collins, London (2002). ISBN 0-00-257101-3.
  • The Outcasts' Outcast: A Biography of Lord Longford, Sutton Publishing, Stroud (2003). ISBN 0-7509-3248-1.
  • Why I am still a Catholic: Essays in Faith and Perseverance (ed.), Continuum International, London (2005). ISBN 0-8264-8577-4.
  • C Day-Lewis (2007),[3] Continuum Intl, London. ISBN 0-8264-8603-7.
  • 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Religion, Murdoch Books, Sydney (2010). ISBN 978-1-84866-059-5.

Several of Stanford's books have also been published in the United States and some of his books have been translated into German.


  • Stanford wrote for the New Statesman from December 1998 until October 2004.[4]


  • Stanford is the Director of the Frank Longford Charitable Trust, and one of the judges of the Longford Prize. He is also chairman of the disability charity, "Aspire".[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Peter James STANFORD". Debretts People of Today. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Hebblethwaite, Peter (26 February 1993). "Lorenzo's sister edits Catholic paper". National Catholic Reporter. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Stanford, Peter". AP Watt. Retrieved 27 November 2006. [broken citation]
  4. ^ "NS Library: Peter Stanford". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 14 November 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006. 

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