Paula Byrne is the author of four successive London Sunday Times top ten bestseller biographies, 'Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical', 'Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson' (2004),
'Mad World: Evelyn Waugh' and the 'Secrets of Brideshead' (2009), 'The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things' (2013) and 'Belle: The True Story of Dido Belle' (2014). Born into a large Liverpool working-class Catholic family of Irish descent, her grandfather and mother were Irish Kennedys. She is founder and chief executive of ReLit, the Bibliotherapy Foundation, a charity devoted to the mental health benefits of reading. She is married to Sir Jonathan Bate and lives in Oxford.