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Julie Summers

Fellow, Visiting Fellow, Writer in Residence, Writing Fellow


Julie Summers is the author of fourteen works of non-fiction and was recently listed in the Sunday Times as one of only four women in the top fifty historians in Britain. Her best-selling book Jambusters inspired the ITV drama series Home Fires, which ran for two seasons in 2015-16 and had a regular television audience of over six million.

Born on the Wirral and brought up in Cheshire, Julie spent the first half of her career working in the art world. However, she had always wanted to be a writer. Her first book, Fearless on Everest was published in 2000, followed by The Colonel of Tamarkan (2005), a biography of Brigadier Sir Philip Toosey, the real colonel who built the Bridge on the River Kwai. Her focus on the impact of the Second World War on the lives of ordinary people has been explored in subsequent books including Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Lives of Britain’s Country Houses 1939-45 (2018). She has also written histories of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (2007) and the Royal British Legion (2021)

Julie’s book Dressed for War is a biography of the wartime editor of Vogue, Audrey Withers (2020).It was optioned by Gaumont TV who are developing it into a drama series. She is currently working on a biography of British Vogue to be published by Weidenfeld in October 2024.

Julie is the former Royal Literary Fund Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, an honorary member of the British Alpine Club and a keen member of Falcon Rowing Club. She is delighted to have been appointed to be the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Kellogg College from October 2023. She lives in Oxford and is the proud owner of two Border Terriers.