Born in London, I read History at Somerville College, Oxford University, and began my career in journalism on the Hackney Gazette in what was then Britain’s poorest borough. Leaving London after my marriage, aged twenty-four, I had three sons in five years, and took a Masters Degree in Business Administration, specialising in Political Marketing. I then returned to journalism as Country Life magazine’s first columnist and also as a weekly columnist for the Daily Express. I later transferred my Country Life column to the Spectator magazine, and began a bi monthly opinion and editorial column for the Guardian newspaper, while also writing regularly for other national papers.

My first solo book, After Elizabeth: The Death of Elizabeth & the Coming of King James, was published in 2005 and was runner up for the Saltire Society’s First Book of the Year award. My next book, the top ten best selling biography, The Sisters Who Would be Queen; The tragedy of Mary, Katherine & Lady Jane Grey, published in 2008/9, was described by the historian John Guy as ‘ground breaking’ and by Julian Fellowes as, ‘meticulous history that reads like a best selling novel’. My latest book, Tudor; The Family Story (1437-1603), published by Chatto on 29 August 2013 is also a top ten best seller. It is  due to be published in the United States by Public Affairs on 8 October 2013 under the title Tudor: Passion, Manipulation, Murder; The Story of England's Most Notorious Royal Family. These books are also avalibale in other formats, inclduing kindle and audio. 

I write on matters historical and review books for a number of publications including BBC History magazine, History Today, the Literary Review, the New Criterion and the Spectator, as well as national newspapers. I live with my husband and dog (a large brown Labrador) near Bosworth battlefield.