Richard Mullen Biography

Richard Mullen

RICHARD MULLEN was born in the United States where he took two university degrees and then came to Oxford in 1969 to study for a doctorate in modern history. He afterwards taught British and American history, modern politics and Victorian literature in the Universities of Oxford and London. His first published work was a scholarly edition of the nineteen volumes of The Pamphleteer, the single most important collection of early nineteenth century pamphlets. It was this work that expanded his expertise in nineteenth century politics to include social, religious and literary history.

In 1981 he began writing documentary features for Radio Three and Radio Four, mainly on historical and literary figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These programmes, some fifty in number, taught him how to present the past to contemporary audiences outside the academic community. Because of this work he was asked to be the historical adviser and commentator to the American networks, ABC and CBS, for the Royal Wedding in 1981.

Richard Mullen’s most important BBC script was a seven-part radio series on Queen Victoria. This led to his first biography, Victoria: Portrait of a Queen (BBC Books, 1987), written with James Munson. The hardback edition of 5000 was sold out and there was a paperback edition (12,500) and a Dutch translation. Lady Longford wrote in her review, ‘I have enjoyed this new biography … the most useful short account of Victoria’s reign for the general reader.’

His next biography, Anthony Trollope: A Victorian in His World (Duckworth, 1991) received the Yorkshire Post’s Book of the Year Award in the year of publication and was on The Sunday Times’ Best Seller List. It was the first complete biography of Trollope published in England and was based on ten years’ work. It was widely reviewed and praised.

Richard Mullen has written articles and reviews for: The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post, History Today, Radio Times, Catholic Herald, The Economist, Country Life, Orient Express, The Listener, The Irish Times, and Illustrated London News.

In 1991 Richard Mullen was appointed editor of Contemporary Review, the monthly journal of international affairs founded in 1886, for which he has also reviewed for twenty years. He is now working with James Munson on a book on Victorian travel to Europe and is in the process of applying for British naturalisation.