John Guy< Back to author list
His ability for first class story-telling and books that read as thrillingly as a detective story makes John Guy a Chandleresque writer of the history world. Guy hunts down facts with forensic skill, he doesn't just recite historical moments as they stand; he brings names and faces to life in all their human achievements and weaknesses. He looks for the killer clues so we can see how history unfolded. Like a detective on the trail of a crime, he teases out what makes his subjects tick. With his intimate knowledge of the archives, his speciality is uncovering completely fresh lines of enquiry. He's never content to repeat what we already know but rather, he goes that extra step to solve history's riddles. He takes you on a journey to the heart of the matter. Forget notions of musty academics, when Guy takes hold of history the case he states is always utterly compelling. Whether it's Thomas More or Mary Queen of Scots, Guy makes these people so real you suddenly realize you are hearing them speak to you. You enter into their world. You feel you can almost reach out and touch them.
Born in Australia in 1949, John Guy grew up in England and by the age of 16 he knew he wanted to be a historian. In 2001 he made an accomplished debut as a presenter for the television programme Timewatch, on the life of Thomas More. Today he's turning history books on their head as he wins universal praise and the 2004 Whitbread Prize for biography for his thrilling account of the life of Mary Queen of Scots.
As well as presenting five documentaries for BBC 2 television, including the Timewatch film The King's Servant and the four-part Renaissance Secrets (Series 2), he has contributed to Meet the Ancestors (BBC 2), and to Channel 4's Time Team and Royal Deaths and Diseases. Wolsey's Lost Palace of Hampton Court was a short-listed finalist for the 2002 Channel 4 television awards.
John Guy also appears regularly on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, BBC World Service and BBC Scotland. In print he currently writes or reviews for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Economist, the Times Literary Supplement, BBC History Magazine and History Today.
His broadcast and journalism experience builds upon his impeccable CV as an academic and author.
Having read History under the supervision of Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton, the pre-eminent Tudor scholar of the late-twentieth century, John Guy took a First and became a Research Fellow of Selwyn College in 1970. Awarded a Greene Cup by Clare College in 1970, he completed his PhD on Cardinal Wolsey in 1973 and won the Yorke Prize of the University of Cambridge in 1976.
John Guy has lectured extensively on Early Modern British History and Renaissance Political Thought in both Britain and the United States. He has published 16 books and numerous academic articles.
John Guy lives in North London. He is a Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge, where he teaches part-time so he can devote more time to his writing and broadcasting career.