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Rupert Christiansen

Non-fiction writer

Over the last 30 years, Rupert Christiansen has enjoyed a varied career in the literary and artistic worlds, taking particular interest in cultural history and the performing arts. After reading English at King’s College, Cambridge and Columbia University in New York, he worked for three years as an editor at Oxford University Press. In 1982, he embarked on a freelance life in London. His 12 subsequent non-fiction books include three historical studies (Romantic Affinities, a portrait of European writers of the 1780–1830 era, which won a Somerset Maugham prize, The Visitors and Paris Babylon), a children’s book about Shakespeare, a biography of the Victorian poet Arthur Hugh Clough, three books on opera and two anthologies. His most recent publication, a memoir of his journalist parents called I Know You’re Going to be Happy, won the Spear’s memoir of the year prize in 2013.

After holding editorial positions at the Spectator, Harper’s & Queen and the Observer, he spent six months in 1995 travelling in Asia and Australia, before returning to England to become opera critic and arts correspondent of the Daily Telegraph and dance critic for the Mail on Sunday. He continues to hold both positions, as well as contributing to publications such as the TLS, the Literary Review, Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Times.

He is a regular broadcaster, an occasional teacher and lecturer and, since 2010, the British representative on the international jury for the Birgit Nilsson prize. In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Rupert Christiansen


University of East Anglia 2014-16
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