Kathryn Hughes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kathryn Hughes
Born (1959-01-01) 1 January 1959 (age 64)
  • Academic
  • biographer
  • journalist

Kathryn Hughes (born 1959) is a British academic, journalist and biographer. Educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University and the University of East Anglia (UEA);[1] her doctorate in Victorian history[2] was developed into her first book, The Victorian Governess. She is the Director of Creative Non-Fiction at the University of East Anglia,[3][4]

Hughes' book George Eliot: The Last Victorian was awarded the 1999 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography, and her 2005 biography of Isabella Beeton, The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton was also well-received,[5] and made the long list for the Samuel Johnson Prize.[6] (Hughes's UEA website stated that the book had made the shortlist, but this turned out not to be true). Reviewing Mrs Beeton in the UK daily newspaper The Independent, Frances Spalding wrote: "There is seemingly no aspect of Victorian life that Kathryn Hughes cannot assimilate and understand from the inside. This is living history, in which massive research and impeccable scholarship is handled with invigorating panache".[7]

Hughes has also reviewed and written for The Guardian, The Economist and The Times Literary Supplement.[2] An occasional presenter of Open Book on BBC Radio 4, she also contributes to the same network's Saturday Review.[8][9][10] She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature.[11]



  • Hughes, Kathryn (1993). The Victorian Governess. London: The Hambledon Press. ISBN 9781852850029. (Bloomsbury pbk ISBN 978-1-852850029)
  • Hughes, Kathryn (1998). George Eliot: The Last Victorian. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1857024203.
  • Hughes, Kathryn (2005). The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1841153735.
  • Hughes, Kathryn (2017). Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh In the Age of Decorum. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0007548361.

Critical studies and reviews of Hughes' work[edit]

Victorians undone
  • Lycett, Andrew (September 2017). "Stripping down the buttoned up". Reviews. History Today. 67 (9): 96.


  1. ^ Academic page[permanent dead link] on the University of East Anglia website.
  2. ^ a b The Guardian Full Profile
  3. ^ Lauren Razavi. "Kathryn Hughes on biography". IdeasTap. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Professor Kathryn Hughes". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  5. ^ Humble, Nicola (15 October 2005). "First catch your cook". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Press Release: BBC Four: Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2006 longlist". BBC Online. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  7. ^ Spalding, Frances (27 October 2005). "The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton, By Kathryn Hughes: The cook, the beef, the life and the mother". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Saturday Review: Uncle Vanya, Triple 9, The Night Manager, Mend the Living, Delacroix". BBC Online. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Saturday Review: Hamlet, Sensorium, 45 Years, Les Murray, Ascent of Woman". BBC Online. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Saturday Review: Upstream Colour; The Story of the Jews on BBC 2; new Margaret Atwood book Maddaddam". BBC Online. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  11. ^ "The Royal Society of Literature: Current RSL Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 20 February 2016.