Our patrons

FOHL has the following patrons.

Toby Faber (President)

Born in Cambridge, England, Toby Faber now lives in London with his wife and daughter. He was previously managing director of his family’s renowned publishing firm, Faber and Faber. He is the author of Fabergé’s Eggs and Stradivari’s Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection, Faber and Faber, The Untold Story and a thriller, Close to the Edge.

He is a trustee of Yale University Press (UK), a great academic publisher. He recently stepped down as vice-Chairman of the Authors Licensing and Collection Society, or ALCS (an organisation he would urge every author to join), but remains a non-executive director of the Copyright Licensing Agency, CLA. Find out more at www.tobyfaber.co.uk

Toby has given talks to the Friends on the Faber publishing house and his book on Fabergé’s eggs.

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier was born in Washington, D.C. Since 2013, Tracy has lived in London with her husband, Jonathan Drori and son, Jacob. In 1993, she began studying Creative Writing, earning a master’s degree from the University of East Anglia. Her tutors included novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.

Her first novel, The Virgin Blue, was published in the UK in 1997 Her second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, was published in 1999. The work has been translated into 38 languages. As of 2014, it has sold over five million copies worldwide. Her 2013 novel, The Last Runaway was chosen for the Richard and Judy Book Club for autumn 2013.

She has written 8 more books, the last was A Single Thread. She is currently working on a book about Venetian glass beads, set on Murano. Read more on her website at www.tchevalier.com

Tracy has given several talks to the Friends, including Reader I Married him, Falling Angels and A Single Thread.

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of several books of stories, essays, a translation of Alphonse Daudet’s In the Land of Pain, and numerous novels, including the 2011 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Sense of an Ending and the acclaimed The Noise of Time.

His other recent publications include Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art and The Only Story. His book The Man in the Red Coat was published in the UK in 2019 and in the US in 2020. He also selected and introduced a collection of John Cheever stories titled A Vision of the World. His new novel Elizabeth Finch will be published in 2022. He also writes crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.

He generously supports Highgate Library. Find out more at www.julianbarnes.com

Joanna Briscoe

Joanna Briscoe has written four novels and several short stories and has worked as a freelance journalist. Her first novel, Mothers and Other Lovers, won a Betty Trask Award in 1993, and her third, Sleep with Me, was adapted for television.

She has given talks to the Friends on Touched and The Seduction and with Tracy Chevalier on Reader I Married Him, a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre.

Find out more at www.joannabriscoe.com

Hunter Davies

After he left university, Davies worked as a journalist, and in 1965 he wrote the novel Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, which was made into a film of the same name in 1967.  He raised the idea of a biography of the Beatles with Paul McCartney and the resulting authorised biography, The Beatles, was published in 1968.

In 1972, Davies wrote a book about football, The Glory Game, a behind-the-scenes portrait of Tottenham Hotspur. Davies has also written a biography of the fell walker Alfred Wainwright, and many works about the topography and history of the Lake District. In children’s literature, he has written the Ossie, Flossie Teacake and Snotty Bumstead series of novels.

As a ghost writer, he has worked on the autobiographies of footballers Wayne RooneyPaul Gascoigne and Dwight Yorke.

Davies was appointed (OBE) in 2014 for services to literature.

His book on Hampstead Heath is his 101st book!

Caitlin Davies

Caitlin Davies is an English author, journalist and teacher. Although born in England, Caitlin has been associated with Botswana since 1990 where she worked as a teacher and a freelance journalist. She returned to England and published a memoir about her experiences, called Place of Reeds.

Caitlin is the author of six novels; Jamestown Blues (1996), Black Mulberries (2008), Friends Like Us (2009), The Ghost of Lily Painter (2011) a fictionalised account of two Edwardian baby farmers, Family Likeness (2013) which draws on the experiences of mixed race UK children born to African-American soldiers during World War Two, as well as the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, Daisy Belle: Swimming Champion of the World, based on the life of Agnes Beckwith, was published in 2018.

Caitlin wrote a book on the bathing ponds and lido on Hampstead Heath, Taking the Waters: a swim around Hampstead Heath and a social history of Camden Lock (2013). In 2015, her non-fiction book Downstream: a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames was published. She was the historical advisor for the independent film The Ponds and an ambassador for the Thames Baths Project.

Caitlin’s book Bad Girls is a history of Holloway Prison in north London. Her latest book is Queens of the Underworld: a journey into the lives of female crooks, published in October 2021. She is currently researching a history of female private eyes.

She has given several talks to the Friends about her books.

Find out more at www.caitlindavies.co.uk

John Harvey

John Harvey has published over 100 books under various names and has worked on scripts for TV and radio. He started writing in the 1970s when he produced a variety of pulp fiction including westerns. He also ran Slow Dancer Press from 1977 to 1999 publishing poetry. His own poetry has been published in a number of chapbooks and two collections, “Ghosts of a Chance” and “Bluer Than This”. In 2014 Smith/Doorstop published a New & Selected Poems, “Out of Silence”.

The first Resnick novel, Lonely Hearts, was published in 1989, and was named by The Times as one of the 100 Greatest Crime Novels of the Century. Harvey brought the series to an end in 2014 with Darkness, Darkness, which he dramatized for the stage and which was produced at Nottingham Playhouse in 2014.

The next series from Harvey was the Frank Elder series. The first novel in that series, Flesh and Blood, won Harvey the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger in 2004, an accolade many crime fiction critics thought long overdue. In 2007 he was awarded the Diamond Dagger for a Lifetime’s Contribution to the genre.

John gave a fascinating talk about the craft of writing to the Friends.

Find out more at mellotone.co.uk

Charlotte Mendelson

Charlotte Mendelson has written five novels, one non-fiction book about her gardening obsession, Rhapsody in Green, much literary journalism and work for radio, and is Gardening Correspondent for the New Yorker. Her novel, Almost English, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. When We Were Bad was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Daughters of Jerusalem, won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Charlotte grew up in Oxford and currently lives in London and spends most of her time in the garden.

Her latest novel The Exhibitionist was publishedin March 2022

Charlotte has given talks to the Friends on When We Were Bad and Rhapsody in Green.

Find out more at www.charlottemendelson.com