Lisa Hilton (writer)

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Lisa Hilton is a British writer of history books, historical fiction, and articles for varying magazines and newspapers like Vogue and The Sunday Telegraph.

Personal life[edit]

Lisa Hilton studied at Oxford University,[1] then history of art in Florence and Paris. She lives in London.


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 spuriously draws parallels between her and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the former mistress of Prince Charles.[2]

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.

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.[3] The Evening Standard found the style pedestrian but otherwise the book was "well-paced and informative".[3] The Independent praised its charm in bringing Mitford's world to life.[4] The Daily Express found it a good story, despite several minor errors.[5] It was also reviewed by Kirkus Reviews.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.'[9]


Hilton has written for The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, Vogue, Tatler, Elle, The Royal Academy[disambiguation needed] 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)


  1. ^ Hilton, Lisa (2008). Queens Consort, England's Medieval Queens. Great Britain: Weidenfeld & Nichelson. ISBN 978-0-7538-2611-9. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Frances (2 November 2002). "Athénais: The Real Queen of France (Review)". The Guardian (UK). 
  3. ^ a b "The Horror of Love by Lisa Hilton - review". Evening Standard (London). 10 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Dennison, Matthew (9 December 2011). "The Horror of Love, By Lisa Hilton". The Independent (London). 
  5. ^ Fallowell, Duncan (November 11, 2011). "BOOK REVIEW - THE HORROR OF LOVE: NANCY MITFORD AND GASTON PALEWSKI IN PARIS AND LONDON". Daily Express (London). 
  6. ^ "The Horror of Love (Review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Groskop, Viv (31 October 2012). "Wolves in Winter review". Red magazine. 
  8. ^
  9. ^

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