Stella Tillyard was born in Britain and educated at Oxford University, where she studied English Literature. Her PhD on twentieth century art criticism, completed in 1985, was published as The Impact of Modernism in 1987. In 1981 she became Knox Fellow at Harvard and subsequently taught English literature and art history there and at UCLA. She moved to Florence, Italy, in 1993. Aristocrats, her biography of four eighteenth century sisters was published in 1994, won the History Today Award, the Fawcett Prize and the Meilleur Livre Etranger and was made into a BBC/WGBH Masterpiece Theatre series in 2000. Her subsequent books include Citizen Lord, the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1998, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) and A Royal Affair, about Goerge 3rd and his siblings (2006). In 2005 she became visiting scholar at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of London, where she taught the history and practice of biography. She has written for many newspapers and magazines and sat on several prize juries, mostly recently the 2010 BBC Johnson prize for non-fiction.

Stella Tillyard lives in London and Florence and has two children, aged 15 and 23. Tides of War is her first novel.



  1. The Impact of Modernism. The Visual Arts in Edwardian England (London: Routledge, 1987)
  2. Aristocrats. Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832 (London: Chatto & Windus, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994).

translated as:

In preparation, Russian, Hungarian and Brazilian translations

  1. 3. Citizen Lord. Edward Fitzgerald 1763-1798 (London: Chatto & Windus 1997 and 1998; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York 1998 and 1999)

Translated into Swedish 2000.

  1. 4. Aristocrats. The Illustrated Companion. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson
    1999 and 2000)
  2. 5. A Royal Affair. George 3rd and his Scandalous Siblings. (London: Chatto & Windus 2006 and 2007, Random House New York 2006 and 2007).

Translated into Danish.

  1. 6. Tides of War (London: Chatto & Windus; New York, Picador 2011) other foreign rights to be assigned.
  2. 7. As yet untitled sequel to Tides of War (London: Chatto & Windus 2013).


  1. 1. with John Brewer, ‘History and Telling Stories; Graham Swift’s Waterland’, History Today 35(Jan 1985)
  2. 2. ‘The First and Second Post-Impressionist Shows, 1910 and 1912’, Journal of the Victorian Society, 1988
  3. 3. with John Brewer, ‘The Moral Vision of Thomas Bewick’, in The Transformations of Political culture. England and Germany in the late Eighteenth Century, ed. Ekhardt Hellmuth (Oxford: OUP 1990)
  4. 4. ‘The End of Victorian Art: W. R. Sickert and the Defence of Illustrative Painting’ in Towards a Modern Art World, ed. Brian Allen (London & New Haven: Yale UP 1995)
  5. 5. ‘Madame du Deffand and her World’, TLS, Dec 1995
  6. 6. ‘Its all in the Telling’, The Author, Spring 1997.
  7. 7. ‘The History Wave’, W Magazine, Spring 1997.
  8. 8. ‘Paths of Glory: Fame and the Public in Eighteenth Century London’, in Joshua Reynolds and the Creation of Celebrity, London, Tate Publishing, 2005. Translated into Italian as ‘I Sentieri della Gloria. Joshua Reynolds e l’invenzione della celebrita’, Ferrara, 2005.
  9. 9. ‘Celebrity in Eighteenth Century London’, History Today, June 2005, pp. 20- 27.
  10. 10. Alan Hollinghurst, Prospect Nov 2005.
  11. 11. All our Pasts’, TLS special edition about popular history, Oct 2006.
    Reprinted in The Author,   Spring 2006.
  12. 12. ‘Biography and Modernity: some thoughts on origins’, in Writing Lives, Biography and Textuality,   Identity and Representation in Early Modern England, Oxford OUP, 2008

Numerous other articles and book reviews in The Times, The Guardian, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire , The Mail on Sunday, Prospect the Sunday Independent .



Aristocrats BBC/WGBH Co-Production for BBC 1 and Masterpiece Theatre. 6 hour dramatisation of Aristocrats.
Sold and screened in 22 countries . Produced on video and DVD in UK and USA.

The Making of Aristocrats. One hour documentary interview, produced for BBC Education.


In progress, frequent contributor to Radio Four, Front Row and contributor to Woman¹s Hour, Kaleidoscope etc.

Interview with Annelise Schonnemann, Arts programme, DenmarksRadio TV, Spring 1997.

‘Writing a Non-Fiction Bestseller’, BBC Radio ‘Kaleidoscope’, 26 Mar 1996.

‘Historical novels, novelised history’, BBC Radio, ‘Kaleidoscope’, with Roy Porter, 3 August 1997


In 2008 I signed a two book contract with Random House Auk to write two historical novels. The first, Tides of War, set in London and Spain in 1812-14. It will be published in May 2011.


  1. 1999 Meilleur Livre Etranger, Paris, for Aristocrats
  2. 1997 Shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Prize, Citizen Lord
  3. 1995 Fawcett Prize for best book about women, Aristocrats
  4. 1994 Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, Aristocrats
  5. 1987 Medal of the Victorian Society: Nicolaus Pevsner Memorial Prize
  6. 1981-2 Knox Fellowship, Harvard University
  7. 1980 National Poetry Foundation Travelling Grant
  8. 1979-83 Major State Studentship, Oxford University
  9. 1979-81 Domus Student, Linacre College, Oxford University
  10. 1973 Ist Prize British Annual Greek Speaking Competition


  1. 2010 Judge, 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize
  2. 2009 Irish Government Writer in Residence, Farmleigh, Dublin, July-Oct.
  3. 2005- Senior Research Fellow, AHRB Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary College, University of London.
  4. 2005-6 Columnist, Prospect Magazine. Monthly column and occasional other articles.
  5. 2001-2 Chair of Biography panel, and Senior Judge, Whitbread Prize, London.
  6. 1999-2000 Columnist, Prospect magazine, London. Monthly column
  7. 1996- Consultant, BBC drama series, Aristocrats
  8. 1997- Contributing Editor, Conde Nast Traveller
  9. 1988-93 Visiting Assistant Professor of English, UCLA
  10. 1984-7 Lecturer, Department of English, Harvard University
  11. 1981-3 Teaching Assistant, History & Literature Concentration, Harvard University