Juliet Barker Biography

Juliet Barker

Juliet Barker was educated at Bradford Girls' Grammar School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where she obtained a doctorate in medieval history. From 1983 to 1989 she was the curator and librarian of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Her books include The Brontes, which won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award and was short-listed for both the AT&T Non-Fiction Prize and the Marsh Biography Award, The Brontes: A Life in Letters, Wordsworth: A Life, Wordsworth: A Life in Letters.

She is a frequent contributor to newspapers and appears regularly on radio and television. In 1999 she was one of the youngest ever recipients of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, awarded by the University of Bradford, and in 2001 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is married with two children and lives in the South Pennines.

How I Found the Agency

When I was looking for a new agent after the publication of The Brontes I went to see three potential candidates. The first was one of the major agencies - whose representative kept me waiting half an hour to see him, took telephone calls throughout our meeting and was then shocked when I rejected him because I did not think he seemed interested in me or my work. The second proved unsuitable because she specialised almost entirely in fiction. The third, Andrew Lownie, had been recommended to me by the editor who had originally commissioned The Brontes. He was the only one who had taken the trouble to research my backlist and had prepared a number of enterprising suggestions for my future career. His enthusiasm and business acumen were obvious from the first and he has never failed to seize an opportunity to push my interests. My latest book, Agincourt, was the direct result of his initiative in suggesting my name to a publisher who was looking for someone to write on that subject.

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