Julie Summers

Non-fiction writer


Julie Summers is a bestselling nonfiction author, historian and broadcaster. Her work focuses on stories of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. She is passionate about writing and storytelling.

Julie’s first book Fearless on Everest: the quest for Sandy Irvine, recounts the tale of the compassionate, expressive and creative young man who died at the age of just twenty-two whilst trying to climb to the summit of Mount Everest with George Mallory in 1924. In The Colonel of Tamarkan Julie tells the true story of building the bridge over the River Kwai and the role of her grandfather, Philip Toosey, in ensuring the prisoners of war under his command suffered as little as possible at the hands of their unforgiving captors.

The Second World War has proved a rich seam and she has written about many aspects of it including evacuees, women on the Home Front, fashion in wartime and, most recently, the stories of country houses requisitioned and used for multifarious purposes.
Julie’s 2013 book Jambusters was the inspiration for ITV’s successful drama series Home Fires which ran for two seasons in 2015 and 2016 and was watched by more than six million viewers per episode in the UK alone. It aired in 135 territories worldwide. Dressed for War (2020), the biography of the wartime Vogue editor Audrey Withers, is in development for a drama series with Gaumont TV. She is currently working on a biography of British Vogue, due out in October 2024.

Before her publishing career, Julie worked in the arts as a curator and exhibition organiser at the Royal Academy, the Henry Moore Foundation and the Ashmolean Museum. She has three grown-up children, two Border Terriers and one husband. She lives in Oxford.

Julie Summers

Julie Summers

Non-fiction writer

Current Fellowship

Kellogg College, University of Oxford, 2023–2024


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  • St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, 2019–2022