The Speakers


Vanora Bennett
 is an author and journalist who has written eight books: two novels set in Russia or about Russians, four English historical novels and two non-fiction books. Her novel, Portrait of an Unknown Woman (2006), was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel prize. Set in 1527, it focuses on the young German painter Hans Holbein and his two portraits of Sir Thomas More and his family. Her other historical novels include The People’s Queen (2011) about Chaucer, and Figures in Silk (2010).

Charlotte Bolland joined the National Portrait Gallery in 2011 as Project Curator for the Making Art in Tudor Britain project, researching the Gallery's collection and curating displays such as 'Hidden: Unseen Paintings Beneath Tudor Portraits' and 'The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered'. Charlotte studied for her PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, in collaboration with The Royal Collection. Her doctoral thesis was entitled ‘Italian Material Culture at the Tudor Court’ and explored the many items that were owned by the Tudor monarchs that had been brought to England by Italian individuals.

Suzannah Dunn is a graduate of the MA creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia and author of 13 novels. Her first historical novel, The Queen of Subtleties (2004), which tells the story of Anne Boleyn from the perspective of the confectioner Lucy Cornwallis, was published in 2006 to wide acclaim. She has since written a further four bestselling historical novels, The Sixth Wife (2007), The Queen’s Sorrow (2008) and The Confession of Katherine Howard (a Richard & Judy pick in 2011), and The May Bride (2014). Her latest novel, The Lady Of Misrule, was published in May this year. She has also written contemporary novels.

Jonathan Durrant is a historian of gender in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His most recent interest concerns the use of the early modern period as entertainment. He has written papers on the representation of Elizabeth I on film and the use of witch trials in politically-inspired entertainment.

Elizabeth Fremantle has an MA in creative writing from Birkbeck, University of London. She has contributed to various publications including The Sunday Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. She also reviews fiction for The Sunday Express. She has published three historical novels set in the Tudor period: Queen’s Gambit (2013), about Katherine Parr, Sisters of Treason (2014) about the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, and Watch the Lady, about Penelope Devereux, which is published this summer. She is currently writing a novel about Arbella Stuart.

Professor Madeleine Gray is a medieval historian with close links with a number of heritage and community organisations and is an honorary research fellow of the National Museum of Wales. She has published extensively on late medieval and early modern history with a particular focus on visual evidence for the history of religious belief and practice. She appears regularly on television and radio, and is currently working on a survey of medieval tomb carvings in Wales.

Rachel Grainger teaches Contextual Studies to design students, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Rachel’s specialist area of research is British General Election poster and print advertising in the postwar period.  Rachel has published a number of chapters and given conference papers on political advertising and advertising, and is keen to develop further research in these areas.

Jerome de Groot
 teaches at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Consuming History (2008; rev. ed. 2016), The Historical Novel (2009) and Royalist Identities (2004). His Remaking History will be published by Routledge in August 2015. 

Cécile Maisonneuve joined the Réunion des Musées Nationaux - Grand Palais in 2010 as an art advisor and exhibition curator. She co-curated the exhibition "Les Tudors" for the Musée du Luxembourg in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, London. Cécile studied for her PhD at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. Her doctoral thesis was entitled 'Peindre à Florence dans le quartier de l'Oltrarno au XVe siècle' and explored the relationship between painters and commissioners who lived in the same district of the city.

Márta Minier holds a PhD from the Centre for Performance Translation and Dramaturgy at the University of Hull. Her PhD thesis discussed the translation of Hamlet into Hungarian culture. Márta’s main research interests span translation studies, adaptation studies (alongside the related theories of intermediality and remediation), dramaturgy, Shakespeare studies (Shakespeare reception in particular), European drama, theatre, literature and culture with a special emphasis on the small nations of Central and Eastern Europe and Hungary in particular, biography on page, stage and screen, children’s literature, drama and media and – more recently – radio drama.