Jessie Childs is an award-winning author, broadcaster and historian. Her debut Henry VIII’s Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (Jonathan Cape, 2006) won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography and was described by A.N. Wilson in the Telegraph as ‘truly superb’.
Jessie’s second book God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England (Bodley Head, 2014) was a Book of the Year in the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer and BBC History Magazine. It was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Prize and won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History.
Jessie’s latest book The Siege of Loyalty House (Bodley Head, 2022) tells the story of the totemic resistance of a royalist mansion in the English Civil War. ‘A thrilling, immersive read,’ wrote Simon Schama, ‘at times almost Tolstoyan in its emotional intelligence and literary power.’ It was a Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Economist, Spectator, Prospect, Critic, New European, Daily Express and Mail on Sunday Book of the Year.
Described by Hilary Mantel as ‘a brilliant speaker as well as writer’, Jessie has performed at the major national and international literary festivals and frequently appears on television, radio and podcasts. TV credits include the RTS Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (BBC 2 & PBS), and BBC Four’s two series on Charles I: Downfall of a King and Killing a King.
She reviews widely, including for The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Guardian and LRB. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Jessie has been on the editorial advisory board of History Today as well as the judging panels of the 2016 PEN Hessell-Tiltman History Prize and the 2021 HWA Non-Fiction Crown.
She took a First in History from Brasenose College, Oxford, and lives in Hammersmith with her husband and two daughters.