Jenny grew up in Cumbria and Dorset and studied English at Oxford. Until 2012, she was Editorial Director of Chatto & Windus, part of Random House.
Her latest book, Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense, won the Hawthornden Prize in 2018. A study of the illustrator Walter Crane will be published in the autumn of 2019, and she is currently working on a book about the 1930s lino-cutters Sybil Andrews and Cyril Power.
Her books include Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories; Hogarth: A Life and a World ; The Lunar Men: The Friends who Made the Future; Cultural Babbage (edited with Francis Spufford); Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick; A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration; The Pinecone: The Story of Sarah Losh and In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon’s Wars, 1793-1815, a crowd biography of the home front through twenty years of war. She’s also editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Women and The Vintage Book of Ghosts and author of studies of George Eliot and Henry Fielding, as well as A Little History of British Gardening and Words & Pictures, a look at relationships between writers and artists, from the illustrators of Milton and Bunyan, to Lewis Carroll and Tenniel.
Jenny reviews for press and radio and has been a historical consultant on BBC classic serials, including Wives and Daughters, Daniel Deronda, The Way We Live Now, He Knew He was Right, North and South, Bleak House, Lost in Austen andLittle Dorrit, as well as the films of Pride and Prejudice, Amazing Grace and Miss Potter.
She is a Vice-President and former Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, and winner of the Benson Prize, and was created an OBE in 2007. She is married to Steve Uglow, Professor Emeritus at Kent Law School, the University of Kent. They live in Canterbury and Cumbria and have four grown-up children — Tom, Hannah, Jamie and Luke – and seven grand-children – Matilda, Max, Felix, Billy, Cassie, Dash and Esther.
UK: Zoe Waldie at Rogers, Coleridge & White
USA: Melanie Jackson at Melanie Jackson Agency