Lauren Johnson is an author and historian. She holds a Double First in History and Masters in Medieval Historical Research from Oxford University. Her Masters investigated the impact of the Wars of the Roses on noblewomen, and Women’s History continues to be an area of particular interest.
Lauren has worked extensively in heritage, recently researching and writing award-winning interactive digital trails for Historic Royal Palaces. She also regularly chairs historical events and podcasts for HRP. As a costumed interpreter, Lauren has researched, directed and performed in events internationally, at heritage sites including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Dover Castle. She co-founded Untold Arts, a theatre company discovering marginalized lives in the past and present, for whom she researched Catalina, the story of the moorish servant of Catherine of Aragon, and wrote Lady Unknown, an ARHC-funded site-responsive play about Angela Burdett-Coutts (Charles Dickens Museum, 2015).
Lauren’s debut novel, The Arrow of Sherwood (Pen & Sword Fiction, 2013), was named one of Medievalist.net’s books of the year. An origin story of Robin Hood, it is rooted in the brutal reality of the twelfth century.
Lauren has also written a non-fiction exploration of daily life in England in the year 1509, So Great a Prince: England and the Accession of Henry VIII (Head of Zeus, UK / Pegasus, US). It was praised as ‘Ingenious… An assured and eye-opening introduction to the England of 1509’ (Times Literary Supplement).
Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI (Head of Zeus) was published in March 2019.
Lauren is currently working on a biography of Margaret Beaufort for Head of Zeus.