Adrian Fort was educated at Oxford where he was a Clarendon Fellow from 2001-2003. He practised as a barrister and was involved in politics before pursuing a career in finance. He won the Daily Mail / Biographers’ Club prize in 2001. He is married with two children and lives in Oxfordshire.
His most recent book, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor, was published by Jonathan Cape in October 2012 in the UK and by St Martins Press in the US in January 2013.
ANNABEL MERULLO Assistant's name: Laura McNeill E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone number: 020 7344 1033
NANCY: THE STORY OF LADY ASTOR – Buy it here
In 1919, Nancy Astor became the first woman to be elected to Parliament.
She was not what had been expected – or rather, in some quarters, feared. Far from a virago who had suffered for the cause of female suffrage, Nancy Astor was already near the centre of the ruling society that had for so long resisted the political upheavals of the early twentieth century, having married into the family of one of the richest men in the world. She was not even British, coming from a famous Virginian family, and fiercely proud of her expatriate ancestry. But her moral drive was strong, and she would utilise her position of extraordinary privilege and influence to blow a bracing American wind into what she saw as the stuffy corners of British life and politics. She would prove to be a trailblazer and beacon for the generations of women who would follow her into Parliament.
This new biography charts Nancy Astor’s incredible story, from penury in the American South, to a lifestyle of the most immense riches, from the luxury of Edwardian England,through the ‘Jazz Age’, and on towards the Second World War: a world of great country estates, lavish town houses and the most sumptuous entertainments. Her world was peopled by many of the great figures of the day – Churchill, Chamberlain, Roosevelt, J. M. Barrie and Lawrence of Arabia were all part of her social circle. But hers was not only the life of power, glamour and easy charm: it was also defined by principles and bravery, by war and sacrifice, by love and bitter disputes.
With glorious, page-turning brio, Adrian Fort has brought to life this restless, controversial American dynamo, an unforgettable woman who left a deep and lasting imprint on the political life of our nation.
PUBLISHER: Jonathan Cape (Random House)
PUBLICATION DATE: 18th October 2012
ARCHIBALD WAVELL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN IMPERIAL SERVANT – Buy it here
The career of Archibald Wavell — man of letters, Viceroy, Field-Marshal — epitomises that of a generation of famous men whose education and upbringing equipped them for a future that was to prove an illusion. Wavell was born a few years before Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and died shortly after the end of the Second World War. He lived for less than seventy years, yet during that time the country in which he grew up, and which he was trained to serve, changed beyond recognition, undergoing a fundamental revision in the attitudes, expectations, prejudices and hopes of the British people.
PUBLISHER: Jonathan Cape
PUBLICATION DATE: 22nd January 2009
PROF: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK LINDEMANN – Buy it here
Frederick Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell, is one of the most influential yet least-known figures of the twentieth century. Born in 1886 into a wealthy family of German origin, he became Winston Churchill’s scientific adviser and close friend and reached the very pinnacle of political, scientific and social life in Britain. Lindemann – or “Prof” as he was widely known – was raised in Devon and educated in Berlin and Paris. He championed and befriended Einstein. During the First World War he repeatedly risked his own life – and saved many others – in demonstrating how to escape from aeroplane spin. And, between the wars, he established, almost from scratch, Oxford University’s international reputation in physics. During the 1930s Lindemann campaigned strenuously against appeasement and moved to the centre of policy-making when he joined the Cabinet. He was described by R. A. Butler as “that sharp-witted, sharp-tongued, pertinacious and more than slightly conspiratorial character who has long been Churchill’s closest friend and confidant”. As such, he advised on all the central issues of the war, including the U-boat threat, the bombing of Germany, the V-weapon peril and the creation of the atom bomb. Lindemann’s private life was a closed book. His arrogant wit and supreme confidence in his own judgement brought him many enemies and few friends. But no other scientist in history has achieved more political power. His remarkable contribution in both spheres remains unparalleled.
PUBLISHER: Jonathan Cape
PUBLICATION DATE: 23rd October 2003