About Daisy Dunn
Dr Daisy Dunn is an award-winning author, classicist and cultural critic. Her most recent books, published in 2019, are In The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny (HarperCollins/Norton), Of Gods and Men: 100 Stories from Ancient Greece & Rome (Head of Zeus), and the Ladybird Expert book on Homer (Michael Joseph). For their publication she was interviewed by the Sunday Times.
Daisy’s first two books, Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet, and The Poems of Catullus: A New Translation, were published by HarperCollins on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016. The same year, Daisy was named in the Guardian as a leading female historian. Her next two books will be Not Far from Brideshead: Oxford between the Wars, to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in March 2022, which offers a new perspective on the world immortalised by Evelyn Waugh, and Pandora’s Revenge (date tbc). Her agent is Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates Ltd.
Daisy was born in London and grew up in a family of artists in Wimbledon. Alongside her books, she contributes to the Telegraph, Evening Standard, History Today, Literary Review, The London Magazine, New Statesman, Newsweek, The Oldie, The Times, Sunday Times, Standpoint, TLS, Apollo Magazine, Catholic Herald, and The Spectator, for whom she writes on Radio and Art. In the US she has written for The LA Review of Books, New Criterion, and Lit Hub.
Representing her former Oxford college, St Hilda’s, Daisy played 3 matches of the 2016 University Challenge Christmas Special on BBC 2. Her team, captained by crime writer Val McDermid, won the series. Daisy has contributed to the BBC World Service, LBC, TalkRadio, among others, and recorded two short films for BBC Ideas in 2019. In 2015 her essay ‘An Unlikely Friendship: Oscar Wilde and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’ was longlisted for the international £20,000 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize. In 2020 she was awarded the prestigious Classical Association Prize for raising the profile of the subject.
Daisy is particularly interested in the ancient world and its afterlife from the Renaissance forwards. Her doctorate, which she was awarded at UCL in 2013, spanned eighth-century BC Greece to sixteenth-century Italy. Her expertise lies in the history of the late Roman Republic and early Empire, literature of Greece and Rome, and art of Renaissance Italy. In particular, she is a specialist in Latin love poetry, especially Catullus, and the eruption of Vesuvius of AD 79 and life in Pompeii, Herculaneum and surrounding areas.
Daisy read Classics at the University of Oxford, before completing a Master’s in the History of Art at the Courtauld in London, where she was awarded a scholarship for her work on Titian, Venice and Renaissance Europe. In the course of completing her doctorate, Daisy was recipient of the AHRC doctoral award, the Gay Clifford Award for Outstanding Women Scholars, and an Italian Cultural Society scholarship. She has taught Latin at UCL and continues to give talks and lectures in museums, galleries, and at festivals. She was formerly trustee and Executive Officer of the Joint Association of Classical Teachers. She is now Editor of ARGO http://www.hellenicsociety.org.uk/publications/argo/, a journal published through the Hellenic Society, founded in 1879.