In this special hybrid PPG, Humphrey Hawksley will be joined by his fellow presenter – and very distant cousin! – Lucinda Hawksley. He’ll be interviewing Lucinda about the difficulties she faced when researching her biography, The Mystery of Princess Louise (Vintage Books).
As an art historian, Lucinda was interested in Princess Louise as a sculptor and part of the Aesthetic art world of late 19th-century London, but it soon became apparent that this was going to be a very different research journey from that of her two previous biographies (of the artists Lizzie Siddal and Kate Perugini). Many months after applying to research at the Royal Archives, Lucinda finally received a response stating “Princess Louise’s files are closed to researchers”. She soon discovered that many other avenues had also been closed off. She persevered – meaning her 3-year book deadline had to stretch into 6 years – and became truly fascinated by the woman she discovered behind the royal façade.
Humphrey will also be talking to Lucinda about what it is like to research and write about her great great great grandfather Charles Dickens – and what surprises can ensue when writing about members of one’s own family.
Author, Speaker & Art Historian
Lucinda is an author, art historian, speaker, broadcaster and the great-great-great granddaughter of no other than the legendary Charles Dickens. Lucinda has written and co-written more than 20 books including The Writer Abroad (2017), Bitten by Witch Fever (2016), Lizzie Scandal, The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel (2004; Book of the Week on BBC Radio Four), Katey: The Life and Loves of Dicken’s Artist Daughter (2006) and 50 British Artists You Should Know (2011). For the last decade she has been Patron to the Charles Dicken’s Musuem in London and has grown up with a deep interest and love of her family history. She is an award-winning travel writer with a love of the environment and in particular cetaceans. She is proud to volunteer as a public speaker for the Wales and Dolphins Conservation Society.
Lucinda is also an award-winning travel writer with a love of the environment: cetaceans are one of her passions and I as a volunteer speaker for the Whales & Dolphins Conservation Society.
As a great-great-great granddaughter of Charles and Catherine Dickens, she has grown up with an interest in her family history. For the last decade she has been a Patron of the Norwegian Pickwick Club
Twitter & Instagram: @lucindahawksley
Author, Commentator & Broadcaster
Humphrey Hawksley is a world-renowned and highly accredited author, commentator and broadcaster. He is a member of The Society of Authors, The Crime Writers Association, The International Thriller Writers Association, The National Liberal Club, Frontline Club, Chelsea Arts Club and the National Union of Journalists. His firm and passionate belief is that spirited discussion and debate sharpen the brain and he is delighted to act as the Goldster Host to our Book Club and Book Chat series.
Humphrey is the author of the acclaimed ‘Future History’ series Dragon Strike, Dragon Fire and The Third World War that explores world conflict. He has published four international thrillers, Ceremony of Innocence, Absolute Measures, Red Spirit and Security Breach, together with the non-fiction Democracy Kills: What’s so good about the Vote – a tie-in to his TV documentary on the pitfalls of the modern-day path to democracy from dictatorship.
His television documentaries include The Curse of Gold and Bittersweet examining human rights abuse in global trade; Aid Under Scrutiny on the failures of international development; Old Man Atom that investigates the global nuclear industry; and Danger: Democracy at Work on the risks of bringing Western-style democracy too quickly to some societies.
Join Lucinda and Humphrey online and live at Riverstone, Fulham on March 21st at 12:00pm GMT