© Rick Pushinsky
Lisa Hilton © Rick Pushinsky

Lisa Hilton is a best-selling author, historian, presenter and historical consultant.

Her most recent book, Sex and the City of Ladies (Harper Collins, 2020) was commissioned by the Times Literary Supplement and casts a revisionist eye over the reputations of influential women throughout history whose deeds and dispositions have been distorted by centuries of misogyny.

Lisa has often taken inspiration from the lives of women who shaped the world, and has written six historical biographies in this theme, from Athenais: The Real Queen of France (Little, Brown, 2002 – shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Prize), to The Horror of Love (Orion, 2011) – an account of Nancy Mitford’s scandalous affair with Gaston Palewski – and the authoritative Elizabeth, Renaissance Prince (Orion, 2014).

Alongside these works, Lisa has published three historical novels, including The House with Blue Shutters (Atlantic, 2010 – shortlisted for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize) and a History of Art book, The Death of Cleopatra (Skira, 2017), which sheds light on the beauty and ambiguity of Guido Cagnacci’s portrayal of the legendary queen of Egypt.

On screen, Lisa has presented numerous historical series, including Charles I: Downfall (BBC4, 2019) and Charles I: Killing a King (BBC4, 2020), and served as presenter and script-writer for the BAFTA-nominated Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (72 Films, 2017). She has appeared as a contributor and advisor on Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary (BBC2, 2016), as writer and presenter (in French) of the series Tendres Rivales (Arte, 2012), and as co-author and contributor on Versailles: Dream of a King (Brook Lapping, 2011). Lisa has also appeared on The Great British Bake Off and historical food show Glamour Puds.

Behind the camera, Lisa is Showrunner for Riviera series 4 (Sky, in development) and scriptwriter for Valadon (ABC, in development), while providing historical consultancy on a range of specialist areas – from Versailles to vampirism, from English Restoration monarchs to French Renaissance menus and culinary innovation.

As LS Hilton, Lisa authored the Maestra Series (Bonnier Zaffre), consisting of three novels, Maestra (2016), Domina (2017) and Ultima (2018). Maestra was a number one Sunday Times Bestseller, a New York Times bestseller and a number one bestseller in 8 European territories. To date, it is on sale in 43 countries and over 1 million copies have been sold worldwide.

© Sunday Times
Lisa Hilton © Sunday Times

Lisa was delighted to be awarded Glamour Magazine Writer of the Year in 2016, Porter Magazine Incredible Woman of the Year and Red Magazine Writer of the Year.

Lisa is fully tri-lingual and is regularly published in all three languages. In Italian, for Corriere della Sera, Vanity Fair and La Repubblica, in French for Elle, and in English, in features for the Sunday Times Style, the restaurant column for The Critic, and features for the Times, Times Magazine, and Times Literary Supplement. Combining her love of Italian cuisine and her current home city of Venice, Lisa has recently begun a historically-inspired food blog and often travels throughout Central and Eastern Europe in search of new restaurants, culinary ideas and experiences, and ground-breaking chefs.

Lisa grew up in the north of England and read English at New College, Oxford, after which she studied History of Art in Florence and Paris. Since then, Lisa has lived in New York, Paris, Milan and London.