About Daisy Dunn


Dr Daisy Dunn is an award-winning classicist and author of seven books. Her latest, The Missing Thread: A New History of the Ancient World through the Women Who Shaped It, is published in May in the UK and on 30 July in the US, with other territories to follow.

Daisy’s previous book, Not Far from Brideshead: Oxford between the Wars, a classicist’s portrait of the university city, was a WaterstonesDaily Telegraph and Independent book of the year, selected for Radio 4’s Open Book, and longlisted for the Runciman Award.

Previously, in 2019, Daisy wrote a dual biography of the two Plinys entitled In The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and book of the year in a number of publications; Of Gods and Men: 100 Stories from Ancient Greece & Rome; and the Ladybird Expert book on HomerThe same year she was interviewed by the Sunday Times. 

Daisy’s debut 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 and earned her a place in the Guardian‘s list of leading female historians.

Alongside her books, Daisy is a critic and cultural commentator, with columns in The Spectator and Spear’s, and regular bylines in The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Engelsberg Ideas and Literary Review. She has also written for The Times, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, History Today, The London Magazine, New Statesman, Newsweek, The Oldie, The TLS and Catholic Herald, and in the US she has written for the LA Review of Books, New Criterion and Lit Hub. She is Editor of ARGO: A Hellenic Review, an international journal of Greek culture published by the Hellenic Society.

Daisy has consulted and participated in interviews on documentaries for the BBC, Channel 5, Sky, Netflix, Discovery, Glyndebourne Opera and American television networks. In 2016 she played for the winning team on BBC 2’s University Challenge Christmas Special. She has written and presented two short films on the classical world for BBC Ideas, and on radio she has contributed to BBC Radio 4, the World Service, Times Radio, TalkRadio, LBC, Monocle and RTÉ’s Arena.

Born in London, Daisy grew up in a family of artists in Wimbledon before reading Classics at the University of Oxford and winning a scholarship to study for a Master’s in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, specialising in Titian, Venice and Renaissance Europe. In 2013 she was awarded her PhD in Classics at University College London, where she was recipient of the AHRC doctoral award, the Gay Clifford Award for Outstanding Women Scholars, and an Italian Cultural Society scholarship.

In 2015 her essay ‘An Unlikely Friendship: Oscar Wilde and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’ was longlisted for the international Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize. In 2020 she was awarded the Classical Association Prize in recognition of her work to bring Classics into the public eye. She has spoken at Hay, Cheltenham, Bath and many other literary festivals. Her agent is Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates Ltd. She tweets at @Daisyfdunn, is on Instagram @Daisydunnauthor and YouTube.

Photography: Right (© Alice Dunn); Home Page (© Timothy Foster)