Alison Weir had a career in the Civil Service before her first book, Britain`s Royal Families, came out in 1989. She has since written twelve other history books, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Princes in the Tower, Lancaster and York, Children of England, Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley, Isabella She-Wolf of France and Katherine Swynford. Alison has also written three novels, Innocent Traitor, about Lady Jane Grey, The Lady Elizabeth, which tells the story of the young Elizabeth I, and The Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine, published in April 2010. Four of her works have been chosen as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4. Her latest history book, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, was published in October 2009. She is now writing a biography of Mary Boleyn, and has two more novels and two more history books on contracts. Her books sell all over the world, and she does regular book tours in the United States. This year, she published a short book, Traitors of the Tower, for the Quick Reads series for emergent adult readers. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences. She has been a guest historian on many historical tours for English Heritage, and developed and led a Tudor Tapestry Tour for the Smithsonian Institute in April 2010. (See www.alisonweir.org.uk)
After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood worked as a journalist specialising in the arts and women's issues. The author of two Sunday Times best-selling history books, she is a regular contributor to The Times, the Guardian, the Independent and the Evening Standard. Arbella, her biography of Arbella Stuart, the first cousin of Elizabeth I and heir to her throne, was widely acclaimed in hardcover. She is the author of Elizabeth and Leicester, the story of the relationship between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Bird of Paradise, a biography of the poet, actress and royal mistress, Mary Robinson, and Fabulous Frocks, an illustrated account of the dresses that shaped twentieth-century fashion. Her latest book, Breakfast at Tiffany's: The Official Companion, will be published in October to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the classic film, and she is currently working on a historical novel set in Elizabethan times and a historical account of the royal women who brought the Tudor dynasty into being, both for HarperCollins.
Dr Tracy Borman was Learning Director at English Heritage, responsible for bringing history to life through events, educational visits and publications; more recently, she has been in charge of interpretations at Historic Royal Palaces. She has often appeared on television and radio, and is a regular contributor to history magazines, including articles in BBC History Magazine on the history of beauty and eighteenth-century ‘It’ Girls. Her first book, Henrietta Howard: King’s Mistress, Queen’s Servant, examined the extraordinary long-term mistress of George II, who was a patron of the arts and a covert political player. Her most recent book was the highly acclaimed Elizabeth`s Women: The Shaping of the Virgin Queen, which was chosen as Book of the Week for BBC Radio 4, and she is now working on a new biography of Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror. Tracy has developed and accompanied many historical tours for English Heritage. (See www.tracyborman.co.uk)
As well as being an author and historian, Dr Kate Williams speaks regularly on Radio 4 and has consulted and appeared on historical programmes. Her first book, England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton was Book of the Week on Radio 4, and chosen by The Times as a Book of the Year, and by The Independent as best biography read. Her second book, BecomingQueen, on the Regency monarchy and the youth of Queen Victoria, was published in 2008, when she also presented an episode of Timewatch for BBC2 on the young Victoria as well as a Revealed on Alice Keppel for Five. She is currently working on a biography of the Empress Josephine, while her first historical novel, The Pleasures of Men, set in the Victorian underworld, will be published in 2011. (See www.kate-williams.com)
Siobhan Clarke has a BA in Modern History and has worked for Historic Royal Palaces for ten years. She is based at Hampton Court Palace, where she trained as a Costumed Interpreter before becoming an HRP Guide Lecturer. As well as specialising in 16th century dress she delivers tours and lectures on Hampton Court Palace and the Banqueting House, Whitehall. Her experience includes tours and education sessions for schools, universities, travel companies and corporate visitors. Along with the other History Girls – Alison, Sarah, Tracy and Kate – she was involved in the Smithsonian's Tudor Tapestry tour, to great acclaim. (See www.thehistoryguides.com)
John Marston has had over forty years experience in the travel industry, and he will accompany the tour in the role of Tour Director to ensure that all guests have information on hotels, restaurants, schedule timings, local information and baggage handling etc.. John has worked for major commercial companies including Land Rover, Jaguar Cars and L'Oreal Cosmetics, arranging world-wide travel for groups of between forty to over four hundred. His experience has included planning and booking trips, and personally escorting these groups. For Land Rover, John was in charge of their major U.S. dealer group, looking after a party of fifty executive guests and their partners, and arranging visits to London, Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, the Duke of Atholl's estate at Pitlochry in Scotland, and Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. This was just one of many launch programs that John has organised; his priority has always been to give the highest standard of personal attention to guests' needs.