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Jane Dismore is a freelance writer of history and heritage and a biographer. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS) and a member of the Historical Writers’ Association (HWA), the Biographers’ Club, the Biographers’ International Organisation (BIO), the Society of Authors and, as a solicitor (now non-practising), the Law Society of England and Wales.  Jane is also an experienced public speaker and has presented on radio and popped up in podcasts and on TV.  Her literary agent is Andrew Lownie (for Duchesses and Princess).  

A list of Jane’s most recent published features can be found further down this page.

NEWS  Jane is honoured to be elected (May 2022) a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society ‘in recognition of [her] contribution to historical scholarship’. 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

On Sat. 8th October 2022, at 11am, Jane will be speaking at Belton House, Grantham, Lincs, about her latest book TANGLED SOULS: Love & Scandal among the Victorian Aristocracy (pub. Feb. 2022, The History Press). Belton features a good deal in the book. Although it is now National Trust, it was once home to 3rd Earl Brownlow, who is also prominent in Tangled Souls, as is his cousin Harry Cust, heir to Belton and Victorian ‘bad boy’. It’s free to attend but booking is essential. Link here:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/5f9c85f1-e320-4b46-8598-616a0db5d88e/pages/details

(This event was originally booked to take place on 10th September but was postponed following the death of the Queen.)

TANGLED SOULS  is available from all good bookshops or you can order here:  https://smarturl.it/TangledSouls

Sample reviews: ‘An excellent micro study in Victorian infidelity’ (History Scotland magazine); ‘An exciting page-turner of a book’ (The Lady magazine); ‘I genuinely could not put it down’ (Roger Bolton, Radio 4 presenter & author); ‘Very well researched and so fascinating.  A fabulous read’. (Karen D. via Facebook). Link to more reviews HERE: https://janedismore.com/reviews/

US author Allegra Huston writes about Tangled Souls in The Oldie magazine (May 2022) and how it helped her understand her English great-grandfather, Harry Cust, at the heart of the book. (See Reviews page.)

See Events page for past events and links to radio interviews on Tangled Souls, including with broadcaster and former politician Michael Portillo.

Souls final front cover

Jane’s feature on Tangled Souls is in the Feb. 2022 issue of Historia, the magazine of the Historical Writers’ Association (HWA)

Damned Souls: an aristocratic Victorian scandal

NEWS  Jane is delighted to be the recipient of an Antonia Fraser Award (October 2021), a grant for a work-in-progress of a biography of a woman or women.  Her proposed subject is Lady Dorothy Mills (nee Walpole), an early 20th century traveller, writer and novelist and one of the first women Fellows of the Royal Geographic Society.  A link to an earlier feature Jane wrote for the Eastern Daily Press is found here: https://janedismore.com/2014/12/10/lady-dorothy-mills-nee-walpole/

Lady Antonia Fraser is one of our major historical biographers. She invited Jane to meet her in Nov. 2021

lady-antonia-fraser-and-me-17-nov-2021

Update: Jane’s book, PRINCESS The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II is now available in ebook and paperback by Lume Books (below left). It’s also still available (below right) from Lyons Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, USA). All editions available from the publishers or from Amazon.  (See sample reviews

Lume - Princess                 Princess cover

PRINCESS and filming: Jane was filmed for the documentary Our Queen in Wartime for which PRINCESS was a source, broadcast on ITV on 22 April 2020 (see Events page.) With the slightly different title of The Queen at War, it was also shown on 5 May 2020 on PBS. 

OTHER BOOKS:

DUCHESSES: Living in 21st Century Britain (published on 4th September 2014 by Blink  Books, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing.  Also available in an e-book) HM the Queen graciously accepted a copy of Duchesses for her 90th birthday. 

When Kate Middleton was made a royal duchess in 2011, she made the old title topical, even desirable, again. Just below the royal duchesses on the aristocratic tree sits another tiny group of women with their dukes: the non-royal duchesses. They are just as much a part of Britain’s heritage, the dukedoms having been awarded by monarchs since the 16th century, but they are a dying breed. 

Ten of these duchesses form the basis of this book. Not only is it the first time they have been featured together but in many cases it is the first time they have talked publicly about themselves. Each also selects a favourite duchess from the past, providing a fascinating gallery through the centuries and a comparison with today – for what does it mean to be a duchess in the 21st century when privilege is not a popular concept?

Book Cover

THE VOICE FROM THE GARDEN: Pamela Hambro and the Tale of Two Families Before and After the Great War (pub. Aug 2012, SilverWood Books)

cover of The Voice from the Garden by Jane Dismore

LONGLISTED 2013 FOR THE NEW ANGLE PRIZE FOR LITERATURE

This true family saga focuses on two prominent families during a turbulent time in Britain’s history: the Hambros, a major merchant banking dynasty, and the Cobbolds, a long established British brewing family from Suffolk, who are united in 1919 by marriage. Their friends include the mighty Morgan banking family of the USA, and the prominent Swedish industrialists, the Wallenbergs, as well as members of the British aristocracy. At the heart of the action lies the love story of Pamela Cobbold and Charles Hambro.

EVENTS (link to new page)

PUBLISHED FEATURES & GUEST POSTS: some can be accessed from here; please click on title for link. (For some older features, see Links page and Archives). Please note that all features and book excerpts remain strictly subject to copyright. Permission to quote must be obtained from the author.

  • The Early Life of Princess Elizabeth: from birth to accession as Elizabeth II: published in The London Gazette (est. 1665) after the Queen’s death on 8 September 2022.  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/all-notices/content/104078
  • Queen Elizabeth: The London Homes that made a Monarch by BBC journalist Tim Stokes, from an interview with Jane based on her book PRINCESS: The Early Life of QEII and published online on the BBC website on 9 Sept. 2022, the day after the Queen’s death. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-59249295
  • A Victorian scandal that broke society’s rules   The Souls at Wilton House, Wiltshire whose owner, the Earl of Pembroke, often hosted them for culture and fun, in Wiltshire Life, July 2022.
  • A Very Victorian Scandal   The Souls and their connection with Stanway in Gloucestershire, in Cotswold Life, May 2022.
  • On Parade: In the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, looking back 80 years to her first official public engagement. Majesty magazine, April 2022.
  • Damned Souls: Introducing the late 19th-century group of cultured aristocrats dubbed ‘the Souls’. Historia magazine, February 2022 (see above).
  • Love and Scandal among Hertfordshire’s Victorian elite in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, 15 January 2022: https://www.whtimes.co.uk/lifestyle/heritage/new-book-on-victorian-aristocracy-8621964
  • The King Who Never Was: The brief life of Prince ‘Eddy’, Duke of Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria & heir to his father, the Prince of Wales, who died in 1892, aged 28. Majesty magazine, January 2022.
  • State Occasion: looking at Trooping the Colour, the ceremony which in 2021 celebrates the Queen’s 95th birthday, Majesty magazine, June 2021.
  • Her Heavenly Messenger: the strange story of the communication between the Countess of Caithness and Mary, Queen of Scots 300 years after the monarch’s death. Majesty Magazine, October 2020.
  • Comfort to the People:  Looking back 80 years to the Queen’s first speech as a 14-year-old Princess in WW2. Majesty magazine, October 2020.
  • On the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th Birthday    Royal experts, including Jane, choose their favourite picture of Prince Philip and say why. Yahoo News, 10 June 2020.
  • Fateful Festivities: the marriage of Marie Antoinette & the future Louis XVI 250 years ago, through the eyes of the 1st Duchess of Northumberland. Majesty magazine, May 2020.
  • Shaping a Queen: at the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2, how the war influenced Princess Elizabeth. Majesty magazine, March 2020.
  • On 13 Jan. 2020, as ‘summit talks’ headed by the Queen take place at Sandringham  on the proposals made by the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Jane’s letter is published on the subject in The Times newspaper – see letter on Events page.
  • 85 years ago (1934): the marriage of the Duke of Kent & Princess Marina of Greece, memorable for many reasons: Royal Central, 29 Nov. 2019
  • Myth, Mystery & Fun The Queen & her Bowes Lyon relations, Majesty magazine, Nov 2019
  • A Story of Love and War: Cobbold Celebrations, 1919  Suffolk Magazine, October 2019 (online version click here & also see magazine itself)
  • The Royal Family in 1939 Majesty Magazine, June 2019