Katharine McMahon

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Katharine McMahon is a British writer born in north-west London. She is an historical novelist who, since 1990, has published nine books. Her latest, The Woman in the Picture, was released in hardback on 3 July 2014 and in paperback on 30 July 2015. McMahon is the best-selling author of The Rose of Sebastopol which was officially announced on 27 December 2007 as one of the ten titles for the Richard & Judy Book Club 2008. McMahon’s book was subsequently reviewed on the Channel 4 Richard & Judy Show on 24 January 2008. The Rose of Sebastopol was shortlisted for the Best Read Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008, but received mixed reviews in North America during the following year.[1][2]

The Rose of Sebastopol was on the Sunday Times Best Seller List and was a Waterstone's No.1 Bestseller. McMahon's previous book 'The Alchemist's Daughter' was one of Waterstone's Paperbacks of the Year in 2006.


McMahon attended North London Collegiate School before studying English and Drama at University of Bristol. She later qualified as a teacher of English and Drama and taught at a Hertfordshire comprehensive school. She taught writing skills with the Royal Literary Fund at the University of Hertfordshire and University of Warwick, and was made a Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire in 2001-3. She is currently an Advisory Fellow. In her report, What's Going on with Students' Writing?(2004) McMahon explored the state of writing in British universities.

McMahon also trained as a magistrate in Hertfordshire and has designed training courses for magistrates. She is a council member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. Additionally, she has written and performed in local theatre, the Abbey Theatre in St Albans, her last role was in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. She has also performed at the Edinburgh Festival and appeared on BBC Radio 4 in Woman's Hour. McMahon has also worked as a lyricist on various projects.



  • Check-out Lil (with Eric Angus). Composed for Mercury Workshop Musical Revue. Director Julia Mackenzie. Also performed on Loose Ends for BBC Radio 4
  • Secret Tower (with James McConnel). Song commissioned by the award-winning actress and singer Janie Dee Performed in her one-woman show at the National Theatre Studio and subsequently on tour.
  • Girls' World (with Jenny Bennett). A musical commissioned by John Kelly Girls' Technology College


  1. ^ "Book Review: 'The Rose of Sebastopol' by Katharine McMahon". Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Rose of Sebastopol". Retrieved 11 April 2014. 

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