James McConnachie

Non-fiction writer

James McConnachie is a writer of non-fiction with a particular interest in the ancient, exotic and offbeat. He has also worked as a teacher in Nepal, a researcher for the maverick historian Theodore Zeldin and, for 15 years, a travel writer — mostly in Italy, France and Nepal. He has written three books of (broadly) cultural history. His biography of the Kamasutra — The Book of Love (Atlantic, 2007) — told the curious story of how this misunderstood text almost died before it was found, and revivified, by two eminent Victorians. His co-authored Conspiracy Theories (Rough Guides, 2008) investigates over a hundred conspiracy canards, and explores whether there is a conspiracist version of history. The Observer called his book Sex (Rough Guides, 2009) ‘a comprehensive, fearless book, part socio-history and part manual’.

James is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund, mentoring RLF Fellows at universities in the southeast of England, and is working on a series of podcasts for the RLF. Before that, he was proud to be the RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Southampton. He also edits the Author, the journal of the Society of Authors, reviews non-fiction for the Sunday Times and the Spectator, and is active in copyright issues as a non-executive director of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. Much to his own surprise, he is also an agony uncle for London’s Metro newspaper. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and three children. He is a keen singer.

James McConnachie

Fellowships

University of Southampton 2012-14