Dr Amanda Foreman is the author of the award-winning best sellers, ‘Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’ (1999) and ‘A World on Fire: A Epic History of Two Nations Divided (2011). Her solo radio and documentary work includes ‘Wellington’s Women’ (Channel Four), ‘What is History?’ (BBC Radio 3) ‘The Georgians’ (BBC Radio 4), and the BBC/Netflix series ‘The Ascent of Woman’.
Currently, she is a columnist for the The Wall Street Journal bi-weekly ‘Historically Speaking’. Her next book, ‘The World Made by Women: A History of Women from the Apple to the Pill’, is scheduled to be published by Random House in 2017.
Amanda was born in London, brought up in Los Angeles, and educated in England. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York, and Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford. She received her doctorate in 18th Century British History from Oxford University in 1998.
She is the daughter of Carl Foreman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and producer of many film classics including, The Bridge on the River Kwai, High Noon, Born Free, Young Winston and The Guns of Navarone.
‘Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’ became an international best-seller, staying at the top of the charts for many months. The book was nominated for several awards and won the Whitbread Prize for Best Biography in 1999. It inspired a television documentary, a radio play starring Dame Judi Dench; and the Oscar-winning film, ‘The Duchess’, staring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, and Hayley Atwell.
‘A World on Fire’, was also a best-seller and won the Fletcher Pratt Award for Civil War History. It was a runner-up for five further awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Nonfiction Prize, and was name one of the ten best books of 2011 by The New York Times.
In 2013 Amanda founded House of SpeakEasy, a literary nonprofit based in New York City that brings authors and their audiences together in innovative and entertaining ways. In addition to its outreach programs in the community, House of SpeakEasy is dedicated to helping writers and books to remain uncensored, free of monopolistic control and open to all.
Amanda has served as a judge on almost every major literary prize on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award. The Library Journal of America has even named a prize after her: The Amanda Foreman Prize for Best Acknowledgements. In 2016, she served as chair of the Man Booker Prize. Amanda currently serves on the board of the Whiting Foundation and Americans for Oxford, Inc.
Since taking up gardening, Amanda has become increasingly obsessed with all things horticultural. She is happy to discuss the finer points of pruning with anyone who’s interested.
Amanda divides her time between London and New York. She is married and has five young children.