Lisa Hilton (writer)

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Lisa Hilton (born 1974)[1] is a British writer of history books, historical fiction, articles for magazines and newspapers including Vogue and The Sunday Telegraph, librettist, and as L.S. Hilton, psychological thrillers Maestra (2016), Domina (2017) and Ultima (2018).

Personal life[edit]

Lisa Hilton was born in 1974[1] in Liverpool[2] to parents who worked in education, as teachers of English and French, and Sociology respectively.[3] She studied English at New College, Oxford,[4][5][6] then history of art in France and Italy. She spent a short time working as an intern for Christie's auction house.[3] Hilton has been married three times. With husband Nicola Moro, an Italian composer, she had a daughter, Ottavia; they have since divorced.[7][8]


Athénais: The Real Queen of France[edit]

Athénais: The Real Queen of France (2002) is a biography of Louis XIV's mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. A review of this book draws parallels between her and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the former mistress of Prince Charles, now his wife and Duchess of Cornwall.[9]

Mistress Peachum's Pleasure: The Life of Lavinia, Duchess of Bolton[edit]

Mistress Peachum's Pleasure (2006) is a biography of the eighteenth-century actress Lavinia Fenton, Duchess of Bolton.

Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens[edit]

Queens Consort (2010) charts the extraordinary lives of England's medieval queens from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Elizabeth of York.

The House with Blue Shutters[edit]

The House with Blue Shutters (2010) is a novel set in southern France in World War Two and the present day.

The Horror of Love[edit]

The Horror of Love (2011) tells the story of famous English novelist and socialite Nancy Mitford's relationship with Gaston Palewski. In contrast to most biographers of Mitford, Hilton believes this relation is crucial to understanding Nancy.[10] The Evening Standard found the style pedestrian but otherwise the book was "well-paced and informative".[10] The Independent praised its charm in bringing Mitford's world to life.[11] The Daily Express found it a good story, despite several minor errors.[12] It was also reviewed by Kirkus Reviews.[13]

Wolves in Winter[edit]

Wolves in Winter (2012) is a novel set in late 15th-century Italy. The central character, Mura, is sold as a slave aged 5, and eventually finds herself in the Florentine court. Red called it a "richly detailed page-turner" and compared it to Philippa Gregory.[14]

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince - A Biography[edit]

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince (2014) provides new insights into one of England's greatest monarchs. It uses new research in France, Italy, Russia and Turkey to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on Elizabeth's emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth I was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler: Hilton redraws English history with this animated portrait of an astounding life. Her biography maps Elizabeth's dramatic journey from a timid, newly crowned queen to one of England's most successful monarchs.[15] The Independent praised it as 'an impressive balancing act; while eruditely analysing Renaissance ideas and Elizabethan realpolitik it retains all the sexiness we have come to expect from books about the Tudors. ... Hilton is particularly good at describing how Elizabeth created an immediately recognisable image and then presented it through portraits rich in allegory.'[16] It is dedicated to her daughter.

The Stolen Queen[edit]

The Stolen Queen (2015) is an historical novel set in 1199 amid the backdrop of the great political struggles of medieval Europe.

Fiction published as L.S. Hilton[edit]

As L.S. Hilton, she is the author of psychological thriller Maestra, the first of a trilogy published by Bonnier Zaffre, G.P. Putnam's Sons, and 42 other publishers worldwide in 2016.[17] Sony Pictures acquired the novel's film rights prior to publication: Amy Pascal is scheduled to produce the film through her Pascal Pictures production company, with the screenplay written by Erin Cressida Wilson. In June 2016 Hilton was named as Glamour Magazine's 'Writer of the Year' for Maestra.[18] Domina,[19] the sequel to Maestra, was published in April 2017. Ultima,[20] the Trilogy's conclusion, was published in April 2018.


As an opera librettist, Hilton has written Love Hurts, with music by Nicola Moro. The opera received its first performance in Milano at the Piccolo Teatro on 25 June 2016, conducted by James Ross,[21][22] with its US premiere in New York City, at Symphony Space, in October 2016.


Hilton has written for The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, Vogue, Tatler, Elle, The Royal Academy Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Evening Standard, The Observer, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph. She writes a monthly restaurant column for the British cultural and political affairs magazine Standpoint.



  • The Real Queen of France: Athenais and Louis XIV (2002)
  • Mistress Peachum's Pleasure: The Life of Lavinia Fenton, Duchess of Bolton (2006)
  • Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens (2008)
  • The Horror of Love (2011)
  • Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince - A Biography (2014)


  • The House with the Blue Shutters (2010)
  • Wolves in Winter (2012)
  • The Stolen Queen (2015)

As L.S. Hilton[edit]

  • Maestra (2016)
  • Domina (2017)
  • Ultima (2018)


  1. ^ a b Contemporary Authors: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers, vol. 219, 2004, Gale Group, p. 152
  2. ^ McTeirnan, Anthea (11 April 2016). "LS Hilton: I wish my sex life was half as exciting ... I really do". Irish Times. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Lambert, Victoria (27 February 2016). "LS Hilton: Is this 'geeky' Oxford graduate the new EL James?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hilton, Lisa (2008). Queens Consort, England's Medieval Queens. Great Britain: Weidenfeld & Nichelson. ISBN 978-0-7538-2611-9.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Wilson, Frances (2 November 2002). "Athénais: The Real Queen of France (Review)". The Guardian (UK).
  10. ^ a b "The Horror of Love by Lisa Hilton - review". Evening Standard (London). 10 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  11. ^ Dennison, Matthew (9 December 2011). "The Horror of Love, By Lisa Hilton". The Independent (London).
  12. ^ Fallowell, Duncan (11 November 2011). "BOOK REVIEW - THE HORROR OF LOVE: NANCY MITFORD AND GASTON PALEWSKI IN PARIS AND LONDON". Daily Express (London).
  13. ^ "The Horror of Love (Review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  14. ^ Groskop, Viv (31 October 2012). "Wolves in Winter review". Red magazine.
  15. ^ "Lisa Hilton - Elizabeth - Orion Publishing Group". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Elizabeth I: Renaissance Prince, a Biography by Lisa Hilton, book". 21 November 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Maestra - The most shocking thriller you'll read this year". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  18. ^ "L S Hilton named Glamour's Writer of the Year - The Bookseller". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Eventi in Milano -". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Love Hurts – creating a new opera. Nicola Moro and Lisa Hilton's take on De Sade and Gilles de Rais". 20 June 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.