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Paula Byrne

Non-fiction writer

Paula Byrne is the author of the ‘top ten’ best-seller Perdita: The Life of Mary Robinson (HarperCollins, 2004). A selection for the 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club and a British Book Awards ‘Best Read’ nomination, Perdita was also long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. It tells the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century actress, poet, novelist, feminist, celebrity and royal mistress Mary ‘Perdita’ Robinson (1757-1800). Paula also wrote Jane Austen and the Theatre (Hambledon, 2002) which was short-listed for the Theatre Book Prize. Paul Johnson of the Spectator chose it as his ‘best-ever book’ on Jane Austen and the Times Literary Supplement described it as a ‘definitive and pioneering study of a wholly neglected aspect of Austen’s art’. Paula is the editor of Jane Austen’s Emma: A Sourcebook (Routledge, 2004). She has taught English Literature at secondary school and university level. She has published essays on a wide range of women authors and reviews for the Sunday Telegraph and the Times Literary Supplement. Paula has also written the story of Evelyn Waugh’s friendship with the extraordinary aristocratic family who inspired Brideshead Revisited, published in 2009.

Paula Byrne


University of Warwick 2009/10
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