NewnhamWrites … Living with Aphra, Mary & Jane

‘I’d find her rather prickly,’ says Janet Todd, OBE, academic and Newnham alumna (NC1961). The ‘her’ she refers to is Jane Austen, a novelist she has studied in-depth, along with Restoration author, Aphra Behn as well as one of the first advocates of women’s rights, Mary Wollstonecraft. Her work hasn’t stopped there. As President of Lucy Cavendish College, she founded […]


NewnhamWrites … Keeping a Straight Face

Ever considered writing a history of Stonehenge? Eminent historian, Rosemary Hill did. In fact, she’s the only woman to have written an entire history of the place and did so while keeping a straight face. At the age of nine she was bedridden with a bout of measles, and got hooked on a book about Elizabeth […]


NewnhamWrites … Coming of Age 2.0

‘What’s the point of me?’ asked Barbara Lorna Hudson (NC1958) shortly after retirement. She was single too and dived into the world of internet dating. What started out as a memoir on her not-so-quiet life, morphed into a fictional story of looking for love and friendship as a sixty-something woman. Timed Out is a second coming of age story, one that […]


NewnhamWrites: A journey across four continents

Never a Dull Moment could be the tagline of blogger, Marina Marangos (NC1975). A chance meeting on a bus with an English girl triggered the idea of doing the Oxbridge entrance exam for fun (her words, not mine). Little did she know she’d arrive in freezing cold Cambridge, a place where she’d eventually meet her medic husband, Charles. […]


NewnhamWrites … Gossip Girl

Not in the least bit shy to voice her opinion, Celia Walden (NC1995) on life as a gossip columnist, babysitting footballer, George Best and marriage to a certain TV personality. And just why she didn’t warm to her childhood hero, David Attenborough. Celia Walden is an author, journalist and columnist for the Daily Telegraph who also […]


NewnhamWrites … Dr. Who?

New York Times bestselling novelist, Una McCormack (NC 1990) reveals who her favourite Dr. Who is, and why she would want to be stuck on a desert island with anyone … so long as he/she came from the USS Enterprise.  Una specialises in science fiction and TV tie-in novels based on series such as Star Trek and Doctor Who. She also writes audio drama, with […]


NewnhamWrites … Rosemary is for Remembrance

One of television’s finest period storytellers, 93-year-old Rosemary Anne Sisson, on World War II, Upstairs, Downstairs, and what she said to Downton Abbey’s creator, Julian Fellowes.  Rosemary Ann Sisson’s home is a place filled with memories, charting a life well lived through words and photographs, posters and paintings. She’s lived in this house on the New King’s Road, London […]


NewnhamWrites … Ghosts of Partition

The partition of India in 1947 was a seismic event that impacted the lives of millions. A year ago, I had had the honour to read a draft of Where the River Parts, by my friend, Radhika Swarup (NC1997). While there have been a plethora of books and films set against the backdrop of Partition, her story impacted me in a profound […]


NewnhamWrites … All you need is love

When the world has gone to pot, we all need a little love. Perhaps it’s serendipitous that we have acclaimed novelist, Claire King (NC 1990) talking about her latest book, Everything Love Is, her love of writing and never finding sufficient time to do it; and why she thinks Newnham found her and changed her life.  Claire King grew up in South Yorkshire, studied […]


NewnhamWrites … I absolutely hated writing my first novel

‘I absolutely hated writing my first novel.’ Acclaimed screenwriter and crime novelist, Isabelle Grey (NC 1973) on her journey from  journalism to screenwriting, to writing the gripping Detective Grace Fisher series. Finally, she can get to write about the things she’s most passionate about.  Isabelle Grey was born in London, educated at Manchester High School […]