Jacky Colliss Harvey English at Cambridge, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. She worked in museum publishing for twenty years, and is well known as a commentator and reviewer, speaking in both the UK and abroad on the arts and their relation to popular culture. At the same time, her red hair also found her an alternative career as a life model and a film extra, playing everything from a society lady in Atonement to a Parisian whore in Bel-Ami
Her first book, Red: A Natural History of the Redhead (Black Dog and Leventhal in the US and Allen & Unwin in the UK), was published in 2015 to critical acclaim, and became a New York Times bestseller. This was followed by The Animal's Companion, a cultural history of the pet-owner, published in 2018 by Hachette and Allen & Unwin in the US and UK, and by Knesebeck in Germany and Eulyoo in Korea. Her most recent non-fiction book is Walking Pepys London (Haus Armchair Traveller, 2021), which was described by the TLS as 'as good a book of its kind as one could hope for'. Most recently she has moved into historical fiction, creating a trilogy of novels set against the Thirty Years War (1618-48). The first of these, The Silver Wolf, published in 2022, and was praised by Tracy Chevalier as 'superb storytelling' and by S.W Perry as 'outstanding'. She is currently at work on Book II: The Dead Men.