Tisdall photo beach

I’m a NUAcT Fellow in History at Newcastle University. I work on childhood, youth and age in twentieth-century Britain. I am especially interested in medical and psychological ideas about age and the history of schooling and education. You can find out more about my research here.

I also write speculative literary fiction. I am currently working on two novels, The Forest That Eats Bone (SF) and Old Ice (horror). You can find out more about my writing here.

This site is a continuation of my previous blog, Laura Reading Books. This blog mostly features book reviews. For other, shorter thoughts on fiction and my own fiction-writing, follow me on Substack!

My life so far: I was born in Surrey and nearly missed moving to Washington DC with my parents and sister at the age of two when I escaped their clutches on the morning we were meant to catch the QE2, and was found in the nick of time chatting to the chef in the hotel kitchen and eating cake. In DC, I deliberately hung on to my English accent for showing-off purposes, but still sometimes say ‘fall’ and ‘sidewalk’ by mistake. I returned to the UK at the age of seven and spent the rest of my early youth in the middle of nowhere in Wiltshire, in a hamlet where there was once a scandal over the repainting of the local postbox. I was excited to gain a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to read history, because it meant I could head to the big city at last. Indeed, there were shops within walking distance of my college room! City life in the fenland was so thrilling that I stayed for the next nine years, getting a masters at Trinity Hall and my PhD at King’s, although I took a year off to work at Haus Publishing in London. In 2014, I finally defected to The Other Place, and in 2017, I moved to Newcastle, where there are hills. I now live in rural Northumberland.

You can contact me at laura.tisdall[at]gmail.com for anything related to book reviews or fiction-writing, or at laura.tisdall[at]newcastle.ac.uk for anything related to my academic research.

I am on Twitter @TisdallLaura, Mastodon @lauratisdall@mastodonapp.uk, Instagram @DrLauraTisdall and TikTok @LauraTisdall.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. I tripped over your website while looking at medieval fenland maps, buildings and descriptions; purely for fun….as you do. I read the synopsis for your working title The Forest That Eats Bone and am almost beside myself with anticipation. I have worked around Peterborough, Wisbech, Ely and Cambridge and all of the amazing little places in between for many years and it is a place I feel great affection for with a truly fascinating history. Good luck with this work and please do not feel any pressure that you already have an audience clambering for its completion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Zoe, I think you are my ideal reader! Most of the novel is set very specifically in Waterbeach and in the area of land between Waterbeach and Denny Abbey, including the old RAF base. I had a lot of fun working out what this would all have looked like in the fourteenth century!


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