Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction. Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen. A recognised authority on women’s history, Philippa graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent and was made Alumna of the Year in 2009. She holds honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck University of London.
In 2020 Philippa was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to literature and charity. She is a member of the Society of Authors and in 2016, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers’ Association. In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Platinum Award by Nielsen for achieving significant lifetime sales across her entire book output.
Sally Laverack has been one of the team of interlocuters for the Bridport Literary Festival since 2011, and has a special interest in history. After working as a reporter/producer for the BBC in the North East for a number of years, Sally joined the commercial broadcasting regulator, the IBA/ITC. She retired to Dorset in 2000.