Matthew Dennison is the author of seven works of non-fiction. He read English at Christ Church, Oxford, as Douglas Jerrold Scholar, and afterwards the History of Decorative Arts at the University of Glasgow. His thesis – on Sevres porcelain hyacinth pots – was subsequently published in abridged form by Country Life.
His first biography, THE LAST PRINCESS: THE DEVOTED LIFE OF QUEEN VICTORIA’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2007 and became a Hatchards number one bestseller; it has been published in nine UK editions to date. EMPRESS OF ROME: THE LIFE OF LIVIA was published by Quercus in 2010 and was followed in 2012 by THE TWELVE CAESARS, published by Atlantic, a Daily Mail Book of the Week, acclaimed by The Spectator as “magnificent”. In the summer of 2013, William Collins published his biography of Queen Victoria, QUEEN VICTORIA: A LIFE OF CONTRADICTIONS, described by Hugo Vickers in The Times as “a tremendous coup”.
Matthew’s biography of Vita Sackville-West, BEHIND THE MASK, was published by William Collins in October 2014 and became a ‘Book of the Year’ in The Times, The Independent, The Observer, and The Spectator. All five titles have been published by St Martin’s Press in the States.
In October 2016, Head of Zeus published Matthew’s biography of Beatrix Potter, OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY, which was published in the States by Pegasus. His biography of George II’s wife, Caroline of Ansbach, THE FIRST IRON LADY, was published by William Collins in November 2017 and described ahead of publication by The Times as ‘scintillating’.
In the summer of 2017, Matthew wrote the afterword to ‘A Note of Explanation’, a short story written by Vita Sackville-West for Queen Mary’s Doll’s House and published for the first time by the Royal Collection.
Matthew is a journalist and regular contributor to a range of publications, including Country Life and the Daily Telegraph. He contributed to ‘Queen Victoria’s Children’ and ‘Royal Cousins at War’ for BBC 2 and ‘The Queen’s Longest Reign’ for BBC1.
He is married and lives in Montgomeryshire.