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Lynn Knight

Non-fiction writer

Lynn Knight is interested in the larger narratives behind ordinary lives, most particularly the lives of women. Her biography, Clarice Cliff (Bloomsbury, 2005), charted the working-class designer’s rise through the pottery industry and the way her designs spoke to the changes in women’s lives between the wars. Lemon Sherbet and Dolly Blue: the story of an accidental family (Atlantic, 2011), told the story of the three generations of adoption in her own family and made use of oral recollection, notebooks and domestic objects, as well as social history. The Button Box (Chatto & Windus, 2016) uses an assortment of family buttons to explore the meaning of clothes for women since the late nineteenth century. She is especially interested in everyday objects as repositories of memory and history and in women’s relationship with their domestic space. Work at Virago (latterly as editorial director of the Modern Classics series) led her to edit two collections of short stories, Infinite Riches: classic stories by twentieth-century women writers (Virago, 1993), reissued as The Secret Woman (Virago, 2000) and Dangerous Calm: the selected stories of Elizabeth Taylor (Virago, 1995). She has also abridged the diaries of Beatrice Webb (Virago in association with the LSE, 2000), and written critical introductions and reviews. Lynn teaches fiction, as well as autobiography and memoir, at City Lit in London. She has also taught at the Women’s Library, Charleston and the Geffrye Museum and runs independent courses. She lives in London.

Lynn Knight


Queen Mary, University of London 2015-18
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