She is a gifted narrative historian, eloquent, graceful and witty; the stories she tells are the ones we all should know.
Hilary Mantel

About Jessie

Jessie Childs is an award-winning author, historian and broadcaster. Her first book Henry VIII’s Last Victim won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, and her second, God’s Traitors, won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History in 2015. It was also longlisted for the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for Non-Fiction and selected as a Book of the Year in the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer and BBC History Magazine.


Jessie’s latest book The Siege of Loyalty House (Bodley Head, 2022) tells the story of the totemic resistance of a royalist mansion in the English Civil War. It was shortlisted for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown and was chosen as a Book of the Year in the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Economist, Spectator, Prospect, Critic, New European, Daily Express and Mail on Sunday.

Described by Hilary Mantel as ‘a brilliant speaker as well as writer’, Jessie has performed at the major national and international literary festivals and frequently appears on television and radio. TV credits include the RTS Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (BBC 2 & PBS), and two BBC series on Charles I.

She has written and reviewed for many publications, including The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, Literary Review, TLS and LRB. She was one of the judges of the 2016 PEN Hessell-Tiltman History Prize and the 2021 HWA Non-Fiction Crown.

Jessie is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives with her husband and two daughters in Hammersmith

Jessie Childs on Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (72 Films for BBC 2)
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