Sarah Gristwood

Sarah Gristwood is a best-selling Tudor biographer, former film journalist, and commentator on royal affairs. Welcome to my site.

Autumn 2013 is turning out to be a season of hard grind behind the scenes on two new sixteenth century book projects - and of some more varied activity! While working on a tv documentary series set in the early twentieth century, I've alse been tweeting Anne Boleyn's last month (in connection with Welsh National Opera's Tudor trilogy), and venturing into Twitter on my own account. @sarahgristwood - do join me.

Earlier this year I spoke on Richard III for Sky News, and the BBC World Service, besides posting articles online with Medieval Archives and I've also had my say on air about more recent royal stories from Prince Charles and pension to the recent christening, besides writing a number of articles - picked up widely, here and abroad  - for the Daily Telegraph, about the royal baby and the issues affecting royal succession. I also appeared on the BBC documentary series The Real White Queen and her Rivals, discussing the history behind the recent adaptation from the novels of Philippa Gregory.

My book Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the War of the Roses came out in paperback in the UK, and in hardback in the US in 2013; while Fabulous Frocks, the book on great dresses I wrote with Jane Eastoe, was reissued with some wonderful new pictures to bring it up to date. Reissued and already reprinted, I'm happy to say . . .


After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood began work as a journalist, writing at first about the theatre as well as general features on everything from gun control to Giorgio Armani. But increasingly she found herself specialising in film interviews - Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro; Martin Scorsese and Paul McCartney. She has appeared in most of the UK's leading newspapers - The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph (Daily and Sunday) - and magazines from Cosmopolitan to Country Living and Sight and Sound to The New Statesman.

Turning to history she wrote two bestselling Tudor biographies, Arbella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester; and the eighteenth century story Perdita: Royal Mistress, Writer, Romantic which was selected as Radio 4 Book of the Week. Presenting and contributing to several radio and tv documentaries, she also published a book on iconic dresses, Fabulous Frocks (with Jane Eastoe); and a 50th anniversary companion to the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as collaborating with Tracy Borman, Alison Weir and Kate Williams on The Ring and the Crown (Hutchinson), a book on the history of royal weddings. 2011 also saw the publication of her first historical novel, The Girl in the Mirror (HarperCollins). In September 2012 she brought out a new non-fiction book - Blood Sisters: the Women Behind the Wars of the Roses (HarperPress). 

A regular media commentator on royal and historical affairs, Sarah was one of the team providing Radio 4's live coverage of the royal wedding; and has since spoken on the Queen's Jubilee, the royal baby, and other royal stories for Sky News, Woman's Hour, Radio 5 Live, and CBC. Shortlisted for both the Marsh Biography Award and the Ben Pimlott Prize for Political Writing, she is a Fellow of the RSA, and an Honororary Patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

She and her husband, the film critic Derek Malcolm, live in London and Kent.