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Helen Castor

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Residence  London, England
Nationality  British
Name  Helen Castor
Occupation  Author Broadcaster
Role  Author
Children  1 son

Helen Castor Helen Castor tells the story of Joan of Arc ABC

Full Name  Helen Ruth Castor
Born  4 August 1968 (age 47) (1968-08-04) Cambridge, England
Education  Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Books  She‑Wolves: The Women, Blood and Roses, The king - the crown - and the D, Joan of Arc: A History
Similar People  Suzannah Lipscomb, Amanda Vickery, Lucy Worsley, Dan Jones, Alison Weir

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Helen Ruth Castor (born 4 August 1968 in Cambridge) is an English historian of the medieval period and a BBC broadcaster. She was a lecturer in history at Cambridge University and is the author of Blood & Roses (2005) and She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (2010). Programmes she has presented include BBC Radio 4's Making History and She-Wolves on BBC Four.


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Early life and education

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Helen Castor graduated from The King's High School for Girls, Warwick, in 1986, and then completed a BA and a PhD at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. She was elected to a Research Fellowship at Jesus College. She is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College.


Castor was Director of History at Sidney Sussex College for eight years before focusing on writing and media.


Castor works extensively for the BBC including presenting Radio 4's Making History and She-Wolves on BBC Four. In 2013 she was a member of the winning team on Christmas University Challenge, representing Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

Literary review

She writes for the books pages of The Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Times Literary Supplement and The Times Educational Supplement.


Castor's book Blood and Roses (2004) is a biography of the 15th-century Paston family, whose letters are the earliest surviving collection of private correspondence in the English language. Blood and Roses was long-listed for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2005. It was also awarded the Beatrice White Prize for outstanding scholarly work in the field of English literature before 1590, by the English Association in 2006.

She-Wolves (2010) was voted one of the books of the year in the Guardian, Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Financial Times and BBC History Magazine. BBC Four televised a three-part series based on the book in 2012, presented by Castor.

Castor was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2017.

Personal life

Castor lives in London with her son.


  • The King, the Crown, and the Duchy of Lancaster: Public Authority and Private Power, 1399-1461 (2000) Oxford University Press ISBN 0198206224
  • Blood & Roses (2005) Faber and Faber
  • She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (2010) Faber and Faber
  • Joan of Arc: A History (2014) Faber and Faber
  • Television

  • A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter (2011) BBC Four
  • She-Wolves: England's Early Queens (2012) BBC Four
  • Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage and Death (2013) BBC Four
  • Joan of Arc: God's Warrior (2015) BBC Two
  • "The Real Versailles" (2016) BBC Two
  • Radio

  • BBC Radio 4 - England: Made in the Middle (2016)
  • References

    Helen Castor Wikipedia