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Lucinda Hawksley

Lucinda Hawksley is an author, broadcaster, speaker, and travel writer, who has appeared on TV and radio programmes around the globe, talking about her many books, as well as about her great, great, great grandfather, Charles Dickens. She has inherited the Dickens energy and his love of engaging with audiences. Lucinda is also an award-winning travel writer, with some great stories to tell, and has written more than 20 books on a variety of subjects.


About Lucinda Hawksley

Lucinda Hawksley has travelled all over the world to research her books and articles. She has written or co-authored more than twenty titles, including three critically acclaimed biographies of artists: Lizzie Siddal: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel; Dickens’s Artistic Daughter, Katey; and the wonderfully controversial The Mystery of Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s Rebellious Daughter. She has also published several books on her great great great grandfather, Charles Dickens, including her latest book Dickens and Travel.

Lucinda’s books – and topics for her talks – are entertaining and diverse, embracing the worlds of art history, social history, the history of London and travel writing. They include Letters of Great Women; Dickens and Christmas; Elizabeth Revealed, about Queen Elizabeth II; The Writer Abroad, which draws on Lucinda’s own experience as a travel writer to look at travel writing over several centuries; Bitten by Witch Fever, an exploration of the way in which arsenic pervaded Victorian society; Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards , a light-hearted look at the extraordinary history of facial hair (both men’s and women’s); March, Women, March, which uses diaries, letters and journalism to discover the history of the Women’s Movement; and Charles Dickens and his Circle;. Lucinda also co-wrote and narrated The Real Sherlock, a six-part podcast series about Arthur Conan-Doyle, for Audible. She is a presenter on two shows for the online platform, for which she interviews fellow authors, and is a presenter on The Goldster Podcast. Lucinda is an expert on Dickens family life, and a patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. She is also a Patron of the De Morgan Foundation.

Lucinda has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes, including Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas, Charles Dickens with Gyles Brandreth, Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape, Charles Dickens’ Secret Lover, Make-up: A Glamorous History, Charles Dickens & the Invention of Christmas, Great Paintings of the World with Andrew Marr, A Very Country Christmas, Queen Victoria’s Tragic Family, Mrs Dickens’s Family Christmas, and Queen Victoria’s Children. Her global broadcasting work has included starring in a special programme made for PBS in the USA, alongside Michael York, and appearing on The Project in New Zealand. She is a frequent interviewee on the BBC, and has appeared on Woman’s Hour, The Today Programme, The One Show, Inside Out London, BBC Breakfast, and Saturday Live.

Lucinda Hawksley gives lively and entertaining talks on a variety of subjects, she speaks about her books, the subjects of her biographies, art history, her research into genealogy and her wide and varied travel experiences. Her TV appearances include Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas (which she co-created with Miriam Margolyes), Queen Victoria’s Tragic Family, World’s Greatest Paintings with Andrew Marr and several others.

To book Lucinda, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email

Speech Topics

Lucinda has a wide variety of talks and is able to tailor them to your organisation or event, if needed. Her expertise covers art history, literary history, the history of London, the women’s movement and the subjects of all of her books. A few examples are below, but please get in touch if you are seeking a specialist subject.

Dickens and Travel
In 1844, Charles Dickens took his family to live in Italy for a year. This followed on from 6 months in America and Canada, and led to his desire to keep travelling – and writing about travel – for the rest of his life. Lucinda Hawksley, his great great great granddaughter, has researched Dickens’s journeys and his little-known travel writing, and gives a talk filled with great anecdotes about an intrepid Victorian traveller.

The Mystery of Princess Louise
The sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a difficult childhood, a world away from the usual perception of the life of a privileged princess. Louise poured her energy into art and became a professional sculptor. An indomitable woman who lived through wars and revolutions, Louise became a prominent member of the Aesthetic art world, and a passionate campaigner for women’s rights, health reform and education for all. Despite being such a prominent public figure, much of her life story has been hidden away inside impenetrable walls. What is so scandalous about this princess that her files in the Royal Archives still need to be locked away?

Lizzie Siddal, Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Siddal was the original supermodel: a skinny teenager from an ignominious Southwark slum who was discovered by an artist while working in a hat shop. Her face was to become one of the most famous of all Victorian women, easily recognisable even today. Years before Twiggy, Cindy, Naomi or Kate, Lizzie was living a wild, drastic and tragically short life, dying of a drug overdose at the age of just 32. Her life story proves that truth really can be far stranger than fiction.

Bitten by Witch Fever
Had you lived in the 19th-century, your home would have been fraught with arsenical dangers: from the wallpaper in your bedroom, the lampshades in your drawing room, and the clothes worn by your family, to the food served at dinner parties. Even though arsenic was used as rat poison, its unique and beautiful colour properties started a new craze for ‘arsenic green’ fashion. The prevalence of arsenic in the home also led to it be being dubbed “a woman’s weapon” of murder.

Katey: Dickens’s Artist Daughter
Katey was the favourite child of Charles Dickens. She grew up in a famous house, where genius was commonplace, to become a celebrity in her own right, as an artist. She exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery, lived her life to the full and challenges all our 21st-century preconceptions of Victorian women.

Researching Family History
While writing her second biography, “Katey: Dickens’s Artist Daughter”, Lucinda had to research into her own family, as Kate Perugini was not only Charles Dickens’s daughter, but also Lucinda’s great-great-great aunt; there were a wealth of differences from researching her previous titles. Here Lucinda talks about how to go about uncovering family history, what it is like to separate the myths from the reality, challenging long-held family beliefs and how disconcerting it can be to discover that one’s own least-liked traits have been passed down through six or seven generations.


Here you can find links to some of the books by Lucinda Hawksley. For bulk book orders for your event please speak with a member of the team.


Booking information

Lucinda Hawksley News

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