Jenifer Roberts began writing biography shortly after her 50th birthday – almost by accident. She was a professional photographer, having trained and worked in the old way, spending many enjoyable hours in the darkroom. She says “There were two strands to my work, portraiture and landscape photography, and I worked almost entirely in black and white. My landscapes were exhibited in England and abroad, and a book of my photographs, Spirit of the Place, was published by Creative Monochrome in 1992.”
After her mother’s death in 1985, Jenifer discovered letters written in the 1850s by a distant relative. They told a strange story which stayed in her mind. A few years later, eager to find out more, she began to research the family and, rather to her surprise, found that she was telling their stories in her head as she went along. This began her second career as a writer.
Now, almost three decades later, Jenifer has written six books of biography and narrative history, whose stories take place in the UK, Portugal and New Zealand. They are: Glass; The Madness of Queen Maria; Fitz, the Colonial Adventures of James Edward FitzGerald; The Beauty of Her Age: A Tale of Sex, Scandal and Money in Victorian England; and Entertaining the Braganzas. Her most recent title is Where the Wind Blows.
Join Jenifer on 25 January at 12pm, as she chats to Lucinda Hawksley about the intriguing subjects of her books and her fascinating career.
Twitter, Threads & Instagram: @lucindahawksley